This summer, I interned with Philadelphia Legal Assistance. The nonprofit organization serves low-income residents of Philadelphia with free legal services in a wide range of issues. My particular unit was the Pennsylvania Farmworker Project. Our unit, with just two full time attorneys, serves migrant H2A farmworkers all over the state. H2A farmworkers in the state are primarily recruited from Mexico. I assisted in providing outreach to farmworkers to ensure that farmworkers were treated fairly according to their contracts. This entailed traveling to the respective farms and providing information for H2A worker rights, all in Spanish.
One of the lawyers in our unit was a tax fellow, which provided a great opportunity to learn about taxes. I assisted with a lot of intake services, particularly for Spanish-speaking clients. I also presented weekly at the Mexican Consulate, educating constituents on taxpayer’s rights and responsibilities, and holding individual consultations to answer any specific questions. It was a great summer to brush up on my Spanish!
PLA is a clinic made up of hardworking attorneys who do not receive all the credit they deserve. Over 50% of Philadelphia qualifies for our services, which are reserved for those who are at a certain percentage of the federal poverty level. I was able to be a resource for those who are not afforded the opportunity to learn important aspects of our legal process, while attempting to do my part to increase education around pertinent issues.
Great job, Emily!!