Each year, the Caribbean Bar Association (CBA) awards various Judicial and Legal Services Internship opportunities to law students. In the summer of 2015, the CBA awarded three law students in South Florida with either an eight-week Judicial Internship in South Florida, or an eight-week Legal Services Internship with Legal Services of Greater Miami. In addition, each recipient received a $3,000 stipend. To be eligible to receive the scholarship for the 2014-2015 academic school year, the applicants were asked to write an essay describing how redistricting negatively affects Caribbean-American voters. After reviewing multiple essay entries, Samuel R. Rony, a St. Thomas University School of Law second year student, was selected as one of the recipients. Samuel was placed with The Honorable Magistrate Judge Patrick A. White in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. We are pleased to announce that Samuel is one of Disability Independence Group, Inc.’s Fall 2015 Interns.
By: Royal Newman, III
Working with Disability Independence Group Inc. (DIG) this summer exposed me to entirely new communities. Not only was I given the chance to see and participate in the internal workings of a law firm as they prepared for court, I was also able to interact with clients and partake in depositions. On multiple occasions, DIG provided opportunities to visit the courthouses. Everyone working with DIG went out of their way to help myself and the other interns understand and the concepts and work that went into each case at each step. But the most interesting community I was exposed to was the disabled community.
On my first day at DIG, I was handed a 1550 page document and told it was the first case of its kind. After working on my assignment for some time, Matt met with me and explained to me what he wanted my work to produce and I practically restarted. While working on that assignment, I was still able to work for some of the other clients as well. One of my favorite clients had obtained DIG’s services in hopes to be reunited with her emotional support sheep, Dora. After working directly with this client I was able to accompany Matt to a deposition of an opposing witness. During the break I was asked questions, almost as if answering an oral exam. Why did I ask this? Where am I going with that question? Why does that matter? It was great hands on experience and an opportunity to learn how to plan depositions and arguments. The friendly and outgoing staff made my time with DIG more enjoyable and beneficial. The DIG office is a work family; we took group pictures, went to group lunches, and even had a pizza and ice cream day. The comfortable and friendly environment allowed for more interaction and better quality education.
One of the fun parts about legal education is being exposed to so many different people, entities, and communities. This summer I was exposed to the disabled community. I learned so much more than I thought there was to learn about the deaf community. It was surprising to see how hard it is for the deaf to communicate without a translator. By talking with the staff and reading case materials, I learned a lot about the deaf community. Then I was able to partake in the intake process for a deaf client and interact directly with her. It was like nothing I had ever done before. Watching the client sign and get passionate about her case and hearing the translator providing her a voice to match her passion was incredible. Another 20 pages would not justly describe the experience of working with DIG this summer.
Thank y’all for helping me on the path to success, and for helping all those that you help.