Luis Lopez Shares Valuable Experience Serving As An Intern for a Law Office

Discussion Colloquium

PPE major, Luis Lopez, shares his professional learning experience from serving as an intern for a law office in Virginia.

Luis, can you tell us a little about your internship?

I started an internship in September 2021 for Peter Hansen, P.C., and plan to work there post-graduation as a legal aid. The internship has allowed me to gain a head start on my professional career and a better understanding of the legal field.

How did you learn about this internship opportunity?

I was approached for the internship, but I knew of opportunities like this through various hiring apps.

What was the application process like?

Actually, it wasn’t your traditional application process. From a young age, I did much of my parent’s legal work and would translate many documents for them. About two years ago, one of the lawyers who took up my mom’s residency case asked her who was filling out her paperwork. The lawyer was impressed with the efficiency of what was a complicated immigration process. He contacted me and conducted a brief interview with me in which I explained my legal aspirations and experiences. From there, I got placed in a wonderful shadowing internship.

What experience did you gain during your internship?

A lot of hands-on, practical experience with legal processes in courts, detention centers, etc., that will undoubtedly be useful while I am in law school and in legal practice. Also, I gained a lot of cultural experiences, because I worked with immigration law where I got to use my Spanish language skills.

How do you think the PPE program at Virginia Tech has prepared you for this internship?

PPE has demanded a lot of writing and many of my professors have given great advice on how to write different types of papers (i.e. case briefs, position papers, etc.), including writing about various concepts that are directly applicable to the legal field. The constant discourse-related assignments also engaged me in active knowledge sharing and seeking. It provided me with access to many different perspectives of life, which will help me to connect with clients in court. PPE has helped me learn to appreciate different perspectives, which is highly useful in advocating for social causes.

Is there any other information that you would like to provide to current and prospective PPE students?

If law school is in your plans, then I would highly recommend the PPE major, because it provides you with the skill to understand complex concepts and distinguish between their positive and normative dimensions, including their ethical implications. Having this skill set will help significantly with law school applications and with what law firms are looking for in associates.

To learn more about the PPE major, please follow this link.

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