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Children's Law Center
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Edka Wong

Major: Political Science
Minor: Global Security and Jewish Studies
Hometown: Purcellville, VA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned of the internship experience through my mentor through the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program. My mentor is originally from Philadelphia and knew contacts in the city who he reached out and then directed me to their contacts in Washington, D.C. (close to my home).

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

During my time at the Children's Law Center (CLC), I was able to diversify my duties between legal, development, and investigation. Children's Law Center is a legal aid society for at-risk children in D.C. It is extremely comprehensive where clients often reach out regarding children's health issues to behavior issues in school. CLC trains many attorneys in the area who donate their services pro bono, which I was able to sit in and observe. In an official capacity, I served in the development department where I learned many donor relation, research, and planning skills that quite frankly cannot be learned in a classroom. Lastly, I spent a lot of time in investigator trainings where I was able to broaden my understanding of all the undertakings and efforts that goes into legal work. I am grateful for the comprehensive and flexible experience I was afforded.

Those skills are invaluable because I not only learned new things, but also reinforced things I have learned in the classroom.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I was able to learn many skills that I would not have learned in a classroom. Those skills are invaluable because I not only learned new things, but also reinforced things I have learned in the classroom. This internship also gave me a new perspective to approaching problems and a new creative mind to conjure solutions.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I intend to attend law school and become an attorney. Networking and observing attorneys in my area and in the area of law I am interested in has confirmed my career path. It also opened my eyes to many different cross sectional areas of law, debunking my impression I had to specialize in a certain area of law. This internship was truly a reward because I was able to see and be a part of the kind of work I hope to accomplish in the future. Networking with law students and lawyers also gave me the opportunity for them to mentor me and share best practices with me throughout my impending legal career.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this internship to other students because it was comprehensive and flexible. I was able to truly shape the experience I had because the supervisors were great and interested in what I could get out of this rather than what they could get out of me.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The PFP curriculum and requirements made it so that I would challenge myself here at Penn State. This gave me a competitive edge amongst the applicant pool. I am also grateful for the advisors and mentors who dedicate their time to listening and advising me. With their advise, I was able to develop myself more professionally.

 

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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