Something For Everyone ...

Students and interns come to The Pro Bono Project from all areas of the country (and even other countries!) for a myriad of reasons. Hands down, it’s the practical learning experience they get through The Project that makes us a student favorite; of course, coming to New Orleans is a pretty big draw as well.

We recently received a note from a woman in The Netherlands about her daughter:

I am looking for a one week internship for Isabel. She follows a bilingual program at the Rijnlands Lyceum, a highschool in Oegstgeest, The Netherlands. As part of the bilingual curriculum, she needs to fulfil a one week unpaid internship in an international environment. … The internship could range from office work or volunteer work as long as she gets exposed to English and to an international environment.

Linton Carney, Isabel Rigutto, Rachel Piercey

Linton Carney, Isabel Rigutto, Rachel Piercey

Isabel Rigutto arrived earlier this month. She was a delight to have around - curious and enthusiastic.  Here are her thoughts about supporting The Project staff:

Doing my internship at The Pro Bono Project has been a terrific experience. I have learnt a lot about the American law system and the way The Project operates. The work I had to do was very diverse, ranging from trashing papers to calling clients.

The most interesting, though, was the court I have been to. I was allowed to attend several ‘children in need of care’ trials. It was extremely interesting to experience what the order of procedures is like, and it made me realize how blessed I am with the worry-free childhood I have had. I admire the people at The Pro Bono Project for doing their very best to help their clients to solve their issues, despite the difficult situations the clients are in.

Even though Isabel had no legal experience, she was willing to learn – and about the legal system of a country other than her native one, no less. We expect that her experience here will serve her well as she continues to pursue whatever career path she embarks on. Thank you Isabel for spending your time with us.

Moving On …

Nicholas Armstrong and Meredith Lapre

Nicholas Armstrong and Meredith Lapre

We recently said goodbye to our administrative intern, Nicholas Armstrong.  He graduated from Loyola University last week and is moving to Texas. He was also a law clerk at Stuart H. Smith Law Center and a study-abroad student at the University of Havana last summer. Nicholas has been volunteering at The Project since January and he’s been busy working with staff members Meredith Lapre and Linton Carney on just about everything.

He assisted with a wide scope of administrative tasks: from updates to and entry of new volunteers in our database, to calling law firms’ marketing and IT contacts to resolve technical glitches from our e-newsletters, to typing up archived PDFs of The Pro Bono Project history so that more recent history could be added. If he wasn’t an electronic whiz before coming to us, he is now, because he certainly did his share of electronic work.

He didn’t mind doing the smallest tasks - he was an invaluable courier, going on bank runs, delivering mail and products to committee members, and bringing checks to Board for signing. He even had some more hands-on assignments that required him to photograph, edit and sort JFAB signs. This will enable us to have a clean file of samples for future use by JFAB committees and volunteers. In addition, he stuffed envelopes to help us get our massive stack of JFAB solicitation letters out in a timely manner.

And, whatever he was given, Nicholas graciously accepted – but also wasn’t afraid to ask questions to be sure he knew what was requested of him and needed by us.

Nicholas will be sorely missed, as he helped staff stretch even further through his willingness to take on any job, knowing that even the smallest of tasks offered him something from which he could learn.

Good luck, Nicholas, as you continue moving forward!