This summer, philosophy and English double major, MariaCarolina Gomez ’17 caught a glimpse into the daily life of an immigration lawyer.
Funded by the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts’ Career Pathways grant, Gomez interned at the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic (LIJC). The LIJC is a project of Loyola Law School, Dolores Mission Church, and Homebody Industries Inc. The clinic offers low-cost legal services to immigrant communities, while introducing student interns to the skills needed to become successful attorneys.
Offered for the first time, the $2,000 grant allowed Gomez to work one-on-one with clients, primarily Spanish-speaking immigrants in East Los Angeles. She assisted undocumented individuals of all ages with their applications for Green cards, visas, and other legal records. A native Spanish speaker herself, Gomez also offered translation support across the organization.
As an aspiring law student, Gomez enjoyed shadowing current law students and working closely with lawyers. The internship “was a wonderful opportunity to get hands-on experience and see what it’s like doing the work,” she explains.
Gomez is also involved in the Phi Delta Phi Pre-Law Society, which helps students prepare for the LSATs and organizes networking events with established lawyers. She continues to intern at the LIJC this fall.
“I’m really passionate about immigration and homelessness, and I hope to practice public interest law in the future,” Gomez says.