Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Texas Advocacy Project

Spring 2013 Site Review

Position: Legal Assistant Intern
Student: Plan II Junior

The Texas Advocacy Project (TAP) is a nonprofit legal organization that provides free legal services to victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and stalking in the state of Texas. As such, the majority of people you work with in the office are attorneys, which allows an intern interested in law school to get good insight into what a career in nonprofit law entails.

As an intern there, I did not have a single long term project, but instead was able to "sample" the different roles available at the office. One part of my responsibilities included communicating with clients in the Assisted Pro Se Program, a program in which a staff attorney guides a client through a legal process short of actually representing the client. Because many of these clients do not live in Austin, frequent letters and phone calls are necessary to check in on progress. I also had the opportunity to gain experience drafting legal documents using ProDoc and managing case files on a large database. TAP also runs a legal hotline for those who have questions about their situation. I spent a portion of my internship screening calls for the hotline by collecting basic information about a caller's situation and determining eligibility for a staff attorney to call back later. I also assisted with various tasks around the office, such as revising a PowerPoint presentation on protective orders to better present information to an audience with a limited legal background.
The workplace environment was friendly and flexible time-wise, and interns are provided with sufficient guidance. Interns are able to work directly under the attorneys in the office, including the Legal Director and the Executive Director, and are not asked to retrieve coffee.

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    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508