Summer Experience: Alex Castro ’22L This summer, Alex Castro '22L was a legal intern for El Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, a nonprofit that specializes in labor rights violations committed against migrant workers.
Alex Castro ’22L made her way from Northern California to Lexington, VA with plans to be a public interest lawyer. After exploring Seattle during a judicial clerkship and working remotely for a transnational nonprofit organization that specializes in labor rights violations, she intends to pursue a career in immigration law. When she isn’t focusing on law school, she likes to read, play video games, and pretend like she can paint.
What did you do for work this summer?
This summer I was a legal intern for El Centro de los Derechos del Migrante (CDM). CDM is a nonprofit that specializes in labor rights violations committed against migrant workers. It is one of the only transnational organizations that specializes in low-wage workers. I worked directly with clients and helped prepare research memorandum, legal documents, and know-your-rights blog posts.
How did you find/get this position?
I originally found CDM through a google search of legal organizations in Mexico. I am Mexican American, and wanted to improve my Spanish by spending time in Mexico this summer. Anyway, I asked the Law School’s Dean of Academic Affairs if he was familiar with the organization, and it turned out he was! The rest is history.
Describe your work experience.
Typically CDM interns work in Mexico City. Unfortunately, due to COVID, I worked remotely. That being said, it was a wonderful experience! The people that work at CDM are truly kind-hearted and amazing. CDM’s mission is innovative, noble, and bold. The best part is that the work at CDM truly helps support migrant communities and uplifts migrant voices.
What were some skills you developed this summer?
This summer I sharpened my researching and writing skills—skills that are very important for a future lawyer! I was also given the opportunity to work on my client interaction skills, and that part of the job was extremely rewarding.
What surprised you about the work you did this summer?
I think what surprised me the most, this summer, was how wonderful the clientele at CDM is. I had never worked directly with migrant workers before, and I came away from CDM with the feeling that all of my interactions with CDM’s clients were enriching on a professional and personal level.
What was your favorite aspect of this summer work experience?
My favorite aspect this summer was getting to know the staff at CDM. It’s very clear that everyone at CDM truly cares about CDM’s mission and one another. It was a lovely team to be a part of.
Has this experience helped you figure out post graduate plans, and if so, how?
It has! My experience with CDM has solidified my desire to work with, support, and uplift immigrant communities.
How do you think this experience will shape the rest of your time at W&L Law?
This experience serves to underscore my intentions of pursuing public interest work. I hope that, even if I am not directly working for a nonprofit organization, I can find some form of work that is as rewarding as pro bono or public interest geared work.