Internship Location: Kentwood MI
Organization Type: Private Sector
Policy Areas: Justice and Law
My internship at the law firm was a rich and insightful experience that provided me an in-depth understanding of the intersection between law and public policy. I engaged firsthand with clients, listening to their testimonies and advocating for their rights, which often exposed me to the real-world consequences of policy decisions. Through this lens, I was able to analyze how local laws and regulations were crafted, implemented, and affected individual lives. For example, I met people affected by certain zoning regulations or social welfare policies, and it was enlightening to see how legal frameworks translated into lived experiences. The analytical and critical thinking skills I acquired at La Follette were instrumental in my internship. I was able to apply theories and methodologies from my public policy classes to evaluate the effectiveness of various policies, and propose modifications where necessary. This ability to bridge the gap between theory and practice surprised me at times, revealing the practicality of my education. What was most valuable to me was witnessing how law can be a powerful tool for shaping and influencing public policy. It has reshaped my view on legal practice, as I now recognize the potential for lawyers to actively engage in policy-making and reform. I would absolutely recommend this internship to future students, particularly those interested in the nexus between law and policy. It provides a hands-on perspective on how laws are not just static rules but dynamic instruments that can be used to foster social justice and drive societal change. The internship has also allowed me to think deeply about my future career, positioning me at the crossroads of law and public policy. It has inspired me to consider roles where I can leverage both legal expertise and policy analysis to contribute positively to my community. It was not just an introduction to law, but a lesson in how law interacts and shapes the policy landscape.