Each year, Elder Law of Michigan, Inc. works with law schools and law students across Michigan, and the country, to encourage students to intern on the Legal Hotline for Michigan Seniors. This year, Elder Law of Michigan is grateful to have 13 law students volunteer their time this summer to intern under the supervision of our Staff Attorneys to learn about the law, experience what it is like to work at a nonprofit, and assist seniors in need of legal assistance. As part of this experience, each intern has written a brief introduction to help our staff, and our community, to get to know them better. This post is the third entry in a series of posts that will run in the coming weeks to highlight this year’s interns from Michigan State University College of Law, Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, and William and Mary Law School. Without further ado, meet Adriana, and Sina, two of our 2017 summer interns!
Hello. My name is Adriana Vega. I just finished my first year of law school at MSU College of Law. I am from New York and have lived in the Bronx, Long Island, and Albany.
I graduated from the University at Albany in three years with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and minor in Criminal Justice in May 2016. I am the first generation in my family to go to college and attend law school.
In college, I joined the crew team. I spent most of my time practicing and going to races. Joining the crew team was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. I enjoyed getting up early in the morning, rowing on the Hudson River, watching beautiful sunrises out on the water, and most importantly creating friendships and relationships with people that will last a lifetime.
I knew going into college that the end goal was to go to law school and become a lawyer. I have always wanted to be a lawyer as I would like to help those who are less fortunate with their legal needs, provide them with legal services and guide them through the legal process when necessary. My goal is to help as many people as possible. I hope to practice family law when I graduate, but maybe after my externship at the Elder law of Michigan I will also be interested in doing more than just family law.
I am excited to work at Elder Law of Michigan this summer. I think it is a good experience for me as I have always been interested in public interest work and this is the perfect place to see if I actually enjoy that type of work. I am looking forward to being able to gain legal knowledge in different areas, serve those in need of help, and gain practical experience working with clients.
My name is Sina and I am in my last year of the JD program at MSU College of Law. Being a legal intern at Elder Law of Michigan has given me lots of experience in different aspects. Besides the legal experience, I am also getting experience in communicating with people who are emotional, nervous, or somehow hard to speak with. Communicating with clients is one the skill that every lawyer should be good at. Sometimes, you face a sad story in which there is no law to help the client, and as unfortunate as it may be, people deal with it and look for alternative solutions. Here is one of these stories.
Before client’s father passed away, she moved into one of her father’s properties and was promised that a written lease agreement was going to be drafted so that she could rent the home she was occupying. After the father’s death, ownership to the home was transferred and the property ownership and family dynamics changed.
Client received an eviction notice. After discussing the issue with my supervising attorney, we advised the client that new property owner has the authority to sell the house, but to evict her, the new owner must do so through an eviction process. Even if client does not want to move, if an eviction process is started, client needs to do establish a backup plan for living somewhere else. Even though the client was informed of the summary proceedings, (what to expect, what to do, and how to proceed) and understood the information, telling the client that she may not have a chance to continue living in the home (if new owners terminate her tenancy) was not easy at all. Although we tried to find a way for her, we had to explain the laws as they stand. It is sad and maybe unfair, but crying won’t fix anything. We recommended she look for alternative solutions and perhaps try to communicate with other siblings and negotiate with them, or ask a third person who is respected by all the siblings to step in as a mediator.