Immigration Law: Internship at Small Firm Leaves Big Impact
This past summer, Cole Mayer, a current Drake Law 2L, interned with the Law Offices of Michael H. Said, P.C. The firm, comprising of three attorneys, specializes in immigration matters concerning deportation defense, criminal law, juvenile law, and family and employment visa petitions.
During his internship, Mayer’s foremost responsibilities included researching and writing asylum briefs in which the firm was advocating that their clients should be allowed to stay in the United States due to the dangers they faced if they were to return to the country from which they immigrated. Mayer was also responsible for compiling client documents for hardship waivers and researching and writing briefs for the waivers, accompanying the attorneys to immigration court hearings, and writing a post-conviction relief brief. This brief involved the issue of whether or not the client had an interpreter available and if the client was informed of the immigration consequences that resulted from his guilty plea. This specific issue has recently grown in importance since the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Padilla v. Kentucky
Towards the end of the summer, Mayer also began helping the firm process applications for the Deferred Action Relief program that was made available by executive order for immigrants that entered the country as minors.
“Drake Law prepared me for my internship by helping me master my researching and writing skills. The firm I worked for was small and did not have a large budget for research," Mayer said. "Drake taught me to effectively execute all of my research for our clients by using free resources and not being hindered by a reliance on expensive legal research services.”
As Mayer reflected on his internship, he spoke of the support he received from Drake Law faculty. “Drake Law faculty members were extremely accommodating and helpful whenever I had a question that pertained to their respective expertise. On multiple occasions during the summer I was able to approach faculty members with tough issues, and each time I received answers that not only gave me insight, but helped me advocate for our clients.”
The internship bolstered Mayer’s passion for working with immigration law issues. Currently, Mayer is working with faculty members to obtain further immigration law internships and ultimately hopes to practice immigration law upon graduation.