Amy Mejia (JD ‘11) turned her externship with the Alliance for Children’s Rights and her passion for children’s rights into a career opportunity. “The hiring attorneys were familiar with my work and knew that I would be a good fit for the organization,” she said.
Mejia currently works as a staff attorney at the Alliance within the education program, advocating for early intervention for foster children, 0-5 years old. “I advocate for children that are not meeting their developmental milestones to ensure that they are getting the services they need, such as speech therapy, so that the child is on the same level as their peers once they begin their elementary school education,” she said. Mejia also noted that if the children require further help, she will advocate on their behalf for help and the right classroom placement to meet their learning needs.Her activities with Chapman Fowler School of Law Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) and volunteering with public interest organizations inspired her to work in public interest law after earning her JD.
Mejia finds her work for the Alliance rewarding because she believes in tackling a legal issue for a client before it becomes a true crisis. “Advocating for children to get the help they need at such a young age makes a huge positive impact on that child for the rest of their life,” she said.
She advises current law students to make connections with supervising attorneys, the staff around the office in which they are externing or interning, and the other interns, as well as turning all work in on time after proofreading. Mejia noted that she worked well with a fellow intern who is also her co-worker now, and she believes her ability to work well with the intern also contributed to her subsequent full-time position.
Mejia’s experience is important to keep in mind; finding an externship in which a law student excels can lead to a full-time position if the student fosters strong working relationships and produces quality work product.