Kelley McIllhattan was a Summer 2012 intern for HRI’s Asylum Program. Before her term ended, we asked to her to share her volunteer/intern experience with you, along with a couple of other fun things about herself that made her a perfect candidate for HRI’s Summer Internship Program. The following is a short interview with Kelley:
When did you start interning at HRI
I started in May of 2012.
What made you want to intern with HRI?
I have always been interested in human rights issues. During my freshman year in college, I joined an organization that provided outreach services to Nashville’s local immigrant and refugee populations. I had the opportunity to get to know a group of Sudanese refugees and hear their incredible stories. This experience created a passion for promoting human rights that carried through to law school. This summer I knew that I wanted to pursue my passion for human rights while at the same time gaining valuable, practical legal experience. HRI was the perfect fit!
What was your job, exactly?
I was an Asylum Program Intern. My main responsibilities included researching immigration and asylum issue, writing legal memorandum on topics such as admissibility of asylum officer notes and frivolous asylum applications, and editing legal documents. I also had the opportunity to attend client intakes, prep sessions, and even individual asylum hearings.
How did you carry out the mission of HRI throughout the time you interned?
From researching human rights and asylum issues to preparing a nunc pro tunc asylum application, I helped to provide services to individuals who have suffered past human rights abuses.
Where is your favorite place you’ve traveled?
A town called Sa pa in northern Vietnam. It is by far the most beautiful place I have ever seen. The landscape is absolutely stunning, with views of rolling mountains and rice terraces in every direction.
Where were you born? Where did you go to school?
I was born in Columbia, South Carolina but spent most of my childhood in Sugarland, Texas. I attended Vanderbilt University for my undergraduate studies, and I am a rising 2L at The University of Texas School of Law.
Fun tidbit about yourself?
I spent three years of my high school living in London, England!