Summer Job Diaries: Helping Underserved During COVID Era

Hali Archer

Rising second-year day student Hali Archer leveraged LLS Career Development Office resources to map a pathway into the recently launched COVID-19 Bankruptcy Clinic. In virtual collaboration with other clinic students, she practices legal research around loan dischargeability and the legal tests required to address that issue. 

How did you land your summer job?

I always keep up with the campus newsletter and look out for emails from the Career Development Office to see what opportunities I might be interested in. I saw a few emails about the COVID-19 Bankruptcy Clinic and was encouraged by a professor to apply. I applied a few days before applications were due and was thrilled to learn I landed the job.

What is the most interesting part of your job?

The most interesting part of my job is hearing the different perspectives and life stories of everyone I encounter through the clinic. I love being able to speak to clients, hear their stories and help -- even if I can only do so much. We also have been lucky enough to have a speaker series in which bankruptcy judges, attorneys and partners have shared their career experiences and advice with us.

What has been your most challenging assignment thus far?

My most challenging assignment has been research regarding student loan dischargeability in bankruptcy. While the research is interesting and exciting, proposing new legal tests to address an issue requires a surprising amount of creativity. Luckily, I have a great research partner to bounce ideas off of and collaborate with, making the experience fun and enjoyable!

What new legal skill have you acquired during your summer job?

One new legal skill I have learned is how to collaborate with a partner in writing and research. My partner and I have worked together seamlessly and encouraged each other to do our best work all throughout the summer. After the summer, when I will inevitably have to collaborate with another student or attorney, I will be able to do so confidently because of my experience.

What bit of legal knowledge have you been able to display?

As a rising 2L, I often feel like I have very little legal knowledge, but my job has helped to ease that fear. This summer, I’ve been able to display my legal writing skills through my research project and my client interview skills. Both skills have developed tremendously over the summer, which excites me to do even more.

How has Loyola helped you map your career path?

When I first started as a 1L, I was not 100 percent sure what type of law I wanted to practice; entering law school, I couldn’t know the breadth of opportunities available to help me discover what I wanted to do. Throughout my first year, I had great meetings with career development professionals who worked with me to identify resources and internships, which then enabled me to figure out what type of law I want to focus on.