Sarah Wheaton is a recent Harvard Law School grad who spent time at HIRC. Next year, she will be traveling to Egypt to work at a refugee resettlement legal aid center! We asked her about her time at the Clinic and how that influenced her plans after law school. Here is what she told us:
What drew you to law school, and to the Harvard Immigration and Refugee clinic in particular?
I chose to study law because I thought it was the tool to address violence that I would be best suited for. I came to HIRC because I wanted to work with victims of violence, especially international clients, and use whatever legal knowledge or skill I had to assist them.
What do you think the biggest learning experiences were?
The biggest learning experience I had was how much of a dialogue the lawyer-client relationship must be in asylum cases. You are true partners in developing the case together, because it’s a real translation process from the client’s memories into a legal theory, but it has to be one in the client’s voice that is authentic when the client speaks it during her interview.
What will you miss?
I’m going to miss working with a phenomenal team of world-class experts, who are available for tips and advice all the time and who are constantly learning from and laughing with each other.
What’s next? Did the clinic influence your post-grad plans?
The clinic will be a great foundation for my career. This is the type of work I want to do, and there are so many techniques I picked up from working with the clinicians that I will put into practice for the rest of my life. Working there convinced me that I want to stay in refugee and human rights work for my career. That’s why I’m going to Egypt next year to work at a refugee resettlement legal aid center. I hope to continue in refugee, human rights, or asylum work in both the U.S. and abroad for the rest of my career.
Thank you Sarah, and good luck in Egypt next year!
Also, a final congrats to the Class of 2014! We wish you all luck with your future plans.