Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Texas Civil Rights Project

Spring 2018

Position: Civil Rights Intake Specialist Intern
Student: Psychology Freshman

The Texas Civil Rights Project is a socially conscious, easy going, fun internship! A typical day for a civil rights intake specialist usually starts by being greeted by everyone you walk past, which is super great and makes you as an intern feel welcomed and loved in the environment. Then Rolando (the intern supervisor / legal manager) tells you what’s going on at TCRP that day, and what you need to do to help make that happen. The responsibilities vary day to day, but typical intern duties are answering the phone, returning phone calls, scheduling appointments, and sending out letters. Pretty much every intern has a “project” they are working on in conjunction with Rolando to help ensure everything is going smoothly at TCRP. For example, my project was to help close the cases of the people that TCRP had to reject. This includes working on the computer and essentially filing away their information, and then drafting a “referral letter” and putting the other organizations we recommend they seek out. One thing I noticed at my time at TCRP is that every single task I did helped the wheels turn. I never did “busy work” or something that wasn’t really needed. The interns are an essential part to helping TCRP function, and it feels great as an intern working there.

 

Fall 2015 

Position: Legal Intake Intern
Student: IRG Senior

Texas Civil Rights Project is a small nonprofit that aims to promote social and economic justice through litigation, education, and social services to low/moderate-income individuals who have faced civil rights violations. These are the types of violations the organization deals with: 1st Amendment free speech and assembly, privacy, discrimination, disability, official misconduct, prisoners’ rights, and due process. When possible clients come to us with other types of cases, we refer them to other lawyers or agencies that specialize in those cases and may better be able to serve them.

Each Thursday, we conduct intake. Thursday is the only day that possible clients can call with a new case. We all stay by the phone lines so we can take as many calls as possible. As an intern, I’m not allowed to give any kind of legal advice, but I take notes in our database about the person’s case with as much detail as possible so that I can present it to the TCRP attorneys later in the day.

At the end of the intake session, we all sit down with the attorneys and present the cases that we received. I basically act as liaison between the client and the attorneys during the preliminary stages of the case. If the attorneys think a case may be one they are interested in representing, they will ask me to collect documents from the client, take statements from witnesses, etc. If they don’t want to take the case, they have me look up different organizations or agencies that may better represent the client. Due to limited funding, we can only take 5% of the cases that we receive, so this is what usually happens.


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    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508
    512-471-7900