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Kendell Johnson (Class of 2014)

Day Division
I began law school with the misguided idea that I wanted to practice criminal law. During my first year I took the required classes but realized that criminal law might not be my favorite area. When signing up for classes in the fall of my second year, I enrolled in immigration law because it seemed like it might be interesting and it fit my schedule pretty well. Shortly after class began, I realized that immigration law was a great fit for me and I am so happy that I fell into the class, almost by accident.

I knew that I would need some first-hand experience in order to pursue immigration law. I had learned a lot in the classroom but I was excited to put some of what I had learned into practice. I found a summer internship with the Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC), then applied to the Center for Legal and Social Responsibility (CLSR) and received a Summer Fellowship.

It was a great opportunity because I was then able to work at the IIIC full-time, which enabled me to get more comfortable with the cases I worked on and meet lots of clients. The CLSR Fellowship Program gave me the chance to work full-time at my dream internship, something I would not have been able to do otherwise.

My summer at the IIIC was so interesting and rewarding that I spoke to the school about staying on for the fall. I was able to get school credit through the Immigration Law Clinic so that I could continue my work with immigrants from around the globe. I learned so much from the IIIC attorneys and was able to help clients by using what I learned from them and from the classroom. The clinic offered me the flexibility to receive credit for work that I loved doing and helped me continue working on cases that I otherwise would have had to step away from.

My work with the IIIC led me to a spring semester Administrative Law Clinic internship at a private immigration practice. I have been very fortunate to continue my hands-on learning in the field of immigration law. The opportunities given to me through the CLSR and the clinical programs at New England Law have made me much more comfortable with immigration law in practice. I feel extremely prepared for life as a practicing attorney after the bar and I’m looking forward to getting started!

(March 2014)