Goodbyes and Lessons Learned

Each semester, the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty is privileged to have a number of outstanding interns who dedicate their time and energy to help end homelessness in America. This semester, we extend a HUGE thank you to interns Sean Goodbody, Jennifer Harrold, and Jamie Shields. Here, Sean reflects on his time at the Law Center:

My experience as a legal intern at the Law Center has become an indispensable part of my legal education.  I go forward into my final semester of law school, and eventually into the legal profession, with a different set of skills, beliefs, and perspectives than I had when I arrived in Washington.

Within days of arriving at the Law Center, I was helping callers in Pennsylvania and Arkansas find homeless shelters and food stamp offices.  I helped advocate for a federal homeless hate crimes statute, and critique the ways the FAFSA affects homeless college students.  I watched throughout the fall as government agencies published data on the foreclosure crisis, the alarming poverty rate, and decreased food stability.  I also learned about the creative solutions legal advocates around the country use to support their homeless clients.

The severity of the economic downturn cannot be denied, nor can how much work must be done to alleviate the hardships of homeless people, and to one day eradicate homelessness altogether.  But I watched all semester as the lawyers at the Law Center remained steadfast and committed to the cause.  My experience here confirmed that advocating for and representing low-income clients is the work that resonates with me.

This is the type of work I want to do as a lawyer.  I am going directly back to my community to work as a law student with the East Bay Community Law Center in Berkeley, CA to provide legal services for walk-ins who cannot afford an attorney.  I then hope to become a legal aid attorney upon graduation, and to bring the same committed attitude and enthusiasm to my advocacy as I have seen from the lawyers here.

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The Law Center is also very grateful for the contributions this fall of Peter Wang, deferred associate from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.

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