This is a reflection of my internship with ABA ROLI, intended to summarize my work and acknowledge the people who made it a great experience. These ten weeks were challenging, but they also enriched my rule of law experience and taught me a lot about legal research and how to stay organized to move team projects forward. I have been touched by the friendliness of the staff here, and I am sad to be finished with my internship.
My work this summer was a mix of legal research and writing, policy research and writing, and administrative work. My first major project was the anti-corruption legislation database for CIABOC in Sri Lanka. This was one of my favorite projects, because it involved significant legal research. This project was also challenging because of its scope and tight deadline, and because many of the laws were in Spanish or Portuguese. However, it was also quite rewarding because of its importance for our partners in Sri Lanka. They will be able to use our database to do a comparative analysis for their own efforts.
My next major project was writing a portion of a toolkit for legal empowerment advocacy to implement Sustainable Development Goal 16. Our section of the toolkit is part of a larger collaborative effort with other organizations. In this user-friendly toolkit, we explained how to conduct baseline assessments to gather data and identify legal empowerment needs, how to use that data to choose an advocacy goal, and how to strategically create an advocacy plan to meet that goal. Through this project, I learned that ROLI does an incredible variety of work, and that we really do use data to inform and support our projects.
Overall, this was a great internship experience—the work was meaningful, and the staff and other interns were friendly and welcoming. I would have liked more opportunities to get to know the other interns, and there were a few days when my work load was light, but these were small issues that would likely be the same in any internship. It has been a great summer, and I am more sure than ever that I want to work in human rights and the rule of law!