I had the unique opportunity to intern at Yacub Law Offices in Rockville, Maryland for a few weeks, prior to heading off to the University of Chicago. At the firm, I observed different facets of immigration law, which as a whole attempts to provide people with access to a better life here in the United States. The 100 hours I spent at the Yacub Law Office exposed me to many aspects of the immigration process, ranging from the complexities of asylum applications to those of green card or permanent residency waivers.
I assisted with a variety of tasks during my time at the firm. I organized case files, business files, and waiver files. I sorted the business files with the categories of prevailing wage, recruitments efforts, labor certification documents, and additional evidence. These files served as a record for companies offering jobs to non- US citizens and provided the much required proof that the company attempted to recruit US labor first. I compiled a series of documents for the waiver files; if this waiver is granted, a green card applicant who has come to the country illegally forgoes the 10 year ban they would theoretically face if they were to return home in legal green card proceedings. These files included evidence of financial hardship, proof of US ties, even photographs of the applicant and their spouse. I also spent time migrating information from one calendar to the other, doing so meticulously as an incorrect calendar entry could translate to a missed hearing and possibly stretch out the process even further.
As a rising undergraduate freshman, getting to observe the practical realities of legal cases exposed me to the complexity of the legal profession and the precision every task requires. Even if a task seemed monotonous, such as updating the calendars, I knew that the implications of making a mistake could potentially profoundly impact a real person’s life. I also had the opportunity to listen to a real hearing over Zoom on a custody battle, and observe the importance of a well prepared case and arguments. The positive outcome further reinforced how the work done at the firm changes lives.
I am thankful to Ivan and the dedicated team for the experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the lunches with the team and I am grateful to everyone at the office for giving me engaging work and always taking the time to mentor me. It was enriching and it felt rewarding to have spent my time helping people in their journey towards a better life.