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Katie Baker (Class of 2014)

Day Division
I studied abroad in Malta the summer of my 1L year and worked at a medical malpractice firm at the beginning of my 2L year. It wasn’t until the summer of my 2L year that I finally had the opportunity to do public interest law work. I was accepted as a summer 2013 fellow with the Center for Law and Social Responsibility. Through this fellowship I was able to work at both Rosie’s Place, a shelter for poor and homeless women, and the WilmerHale Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School.

At Rosie’s Place, I assisted my supervising attorney in researching legal issues, writing memos and affidavits. I also conducted legal clinic intakes, advised and referred guests, and followed up with clients each week by phone call and letter. Importantly, I had the opportunity to attend Homestart Clinic, where I informed women about subsidized housing, and attended housing court each week.

At the WilmerHale Legal Services Center I was given the responsibility of researching a wide array of legal issues related to predatory lending, and drafted corresponding memoranda. I also assisted my supervising attorney in filling out loan modification applications and reviewed clients’ mortgage documents for signs of predatory practices.

During the fall semester of my 3L year, I participated in the Government Lawyer Clinic and worked at the Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Division. Through this clinical experience, I researched and prepared documents relating to a wide variety of consumer protection issues, such as deceptive loan modification and debt collection practices, and drafted corresponding memoranda. I came often to small claims court to do research on an ongoing debt collection project and I aided in the investigation of several automobile dealerships’ deceptive Internet advertisements.

All three of these internships had a formative impact on my decision to pursue public interest law work after graduation. I will never forget the way I felt when I could tell someone that their loan modification had been approved, or the joy of being able to work with women at Rosie’s Place who would otherwise not have had the legal help they needed. They are invaluable experiences and I will carry them with me for the rest of my life.

(April 2014)