Over the summer I was an intern for a nonprofit called New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI). The organization’s mission is to use the expertise of top New York City law firms to solve major issue in the local area. Partnering with lawyers around the city who offer their time on a pro bono basis, NYLPI works in three main areas, health justice, environmental justice, and disability justice. In recent years, NYLPI has successfully sued the EPA over it failure to remove toxic chemicals from public schools, started campaigns to solve issues of toxic waste dumping, and worked on behalf of clients with disabilities who have been neglected for maligned.
As an intern, I was helped research for different campaigns and lawsuits, work with the development staff on fundraisers, and participate in office and board policy meetings. As the only high school intern, instead of law school or undergraduate, I also had the opportunity to participate in events designed for other interns that included discussions with lawyers from different areas of the legal world. It was immensely gratifying to witness some of the work that people spend their lives doing. It was also interesting to work with lawyers from major law firms who had volunteered their time to help those less fortunate. I was able to learn a great deal on how the organization is run, from the meetings, fundraising, office culture, and the small and oftentimes mundane tasks that go into the workings of an organization.