Blog: Debbie Anker

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November 14, 2011

Finding the Right Summer Fit: An Interview with Brett Stark, JD ’12

Posted by Cara Solomon

Last year, the Human Rights Program funded more than 20 students to work at internships abroad.  You can meet several of them today at the International Summer Jobs Student Panel in Pound 213; they’ll be eating free burritos and dispensing their best advice there from 12:00- 1:00 pm.

In advance of the panel, we talked last week to Brett Stark, JD ’12, who worked at RefugePoint, an organization in Kenya that helps to meet the needs of people affected by war and conflict.  He described how he came to care about this work; what he learned from his first summer internship; and why his second internship proved so successful.

HRP: You have a long-standing interest in social justice advocacy. Why did you choose law school to express it?

I thought it would be the most effective way for me to be the best social justice advocate I could be—given our system, and the powers that lawyers have, and also given what I felt like my abilities were, as an oral advocate, as a person who enjoys connecting with people, and as someone who loves to write.  That stuff kind of blended together with law.

When I came here, I was trying to figure out: what’s my thing going to be?  I didn’t really know; I wanted to look around.  One of the things I did was the Immigration and Refugee Clinic, and that was really awesome.  Working with a client is an amazing experience.  With teaching, which I had done before law school, you’re connecting with students, but with clients, it’s a different kind of connection.

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