Rebecca Koford is spending her summer at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in Eagle Pass, Texas, and loves her job!
Below she shares some experiences:
One of my clients cries every time I talk to her, and I'm trying not to smile while remembering this, but it's difficult. Horribly inappropriate, I know. But I love that I have clients, and I love it even more that I can actually help them detangle their legal knots.
It feels good to be useful to clients and use some of the things I've learned in the past two years of law school. It feels better to know that a client is sleeping better at night because they're no longer living in complete terror of losing their home, job, or children. It doesn't feel so good to see someone find out that no one in her family wants to help her out because they think she's a lost cause. But at least she has someone on her side.
I've gotten to do a lot in the short time that I've been in Eagle Pass. In the past four weeks, I have interviewed clients in (mangled, but improving) Spanish; written memos, replies, responses, and requests for disclosure; sued somebody; countersued somebody; sat in on hearings in a judge's chambers; and today I visited federal court and jail (twice).
I'm even working on a hot button issue: the border wall. The west side of Eagle Pass hugs the Rio Grande, and the federal government has temporarily condemned land along the river to survey where it wants to put the wall. This is upsetting some of our clients who use the river and the adjacent land for education, research, and even their livelihood. They will not be able to do any of this if the wall is built where the government is proposing. So one of the things we're trying do (and that I spent a large chunk of the last week working on) is to get an injunction so that if the wall is built, it is put in a more sensible location and doesn't completely prevent access to the river.
So thank you to everyone who donated to EJF. Without you, I wouldn't have my dream job this summer.