Susanna D. Evarts ’18
I'm in my fourth semester in the Worker and Immigrants Rights Advocacy Clinic, which is called WIRAC, and I've really loved my experience in WIRAC. When you start, you get assigned a litigation case and then you also get assigned a community advocacy case. And I found that to be really important in how I thought about lawyering. The type of lawyering that you do with a community organization is quite different from the type of lawyering that you think of in, kind of, a litigation case. I mean, I think they also inform each other a lot. So I've really enjoyed it.
I have been on a variety of different cases, and I really like the commitment to-- the commitment to not only, kind of, building up the student's skills, the types of skills that you often think of when you come to law school, how to write a brief, how to do a deposition, how to use as an expert witness, et cetera. But I think there's also a lot of emphasis on, kind of, thinking about what kind of lawyer you want to become and how you want to-- with a lot of public interest work, I think you have to think a lot about the role of lawyers. And I think-- I really enjoyed that introspection as well.
January 28th, 2017, when we are one day into the Muslim ban 1.0 litigation-- Darweesh-- people had been up all night, kind of, working on different motions, cobbling together what we could and we're in the basement of the LSO sitting around in places waiting for this decision and watching the crowds at the airport-- all the people at airports across the country, helping people getting their information, the crowd around the courthouse. And we're all waiting, kind of, thinking are we going to have to appeal this? Like what's the next steps if we don't get this?
And then we got the TRO. And people were crying. Our supervisor-- one of our supervisors was there with us. And also feeling a little bit lonely, missing, wishing that we could celebrate there with everyone and, kind of, being up here in New Haven in a basement. And our supervisor told us, she was like, look, any time that you have a big case that gets a lot of attention, that has a lot of impact, and a lot of people are rallying, there always has to be someone in a basement on a computer hammering away.
A student perspective on the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School.