Career Outcomes: The Importance of Legal Advocacy and The Many Hats of an Employee at a Small Nonprofit
Over the past 10 weeks, I have had the pleasure of working in all facets and sectors of the Maine Youth Court (see my last blog post for more information about the Maine Youth Court and how I got connected with the organization). This internship has given me great insight into the impact of restorative justice, and the power of social justice on the lives of youths and their families, and the work of employees at a small nonprofit.
Through this internship, I have been able to combine my interest of social justice and service with my enthusiasm for the law. I have seen the flaws, but also the positive hope of the Juvenile Justice System in the State of Maine and the nation as a whole. One of my most predominant roles as an intern for the Maine Youth Court has been to oversee hearings and advice students on legal dispositions. This role has provided me with the opportunity to see youths take accountability for their actions and work to repair the harm that they have caused. The Maine Youth Court is a program that not only provides offending youth with a second chance – by keeping offenses off their records and connecting them to the community, it equips them with the resources and support needed to succeed. The Maine Youth Court is an inspiring organization that has fueled my desire to fight for social justice and serve my community through legal advocacy.
This internship has taught me two remarkably important things as I work to pursue and create a career path:Additionally, this internship has transformed my career interests and most likely, my career path through the knowledge of the work at small nonprofits. The Maine Youth Court consists of two full-time employees and 75 active- trained youth volunteers. The burden of work that falls on the shoulders of the two full-time employees is remarkable and distinct. Not only do these employees advocate for the diversion of youth, conduct intake meetings, oversee hearings, and manage cases, they write grants for funding, manage the budget, and conduct all the marketing and outreach for the organization. I have learned that if I were to work at a small, legal nonprofit, I would not only work in legal advocacy but in finance, management, marketing, and administration. Furthermore, I have learned that the environment of the Maine Youth Court, and many other small nonprofits that I have worked with, may not be as face-paced as I would like in the organizations or companies that I work for.
- I definitely do want to attend law school and work in legal advocacy
- I want to work in a larger organization or company.
I am beyond grateful of my time with the Maine Youth Court, which has also lead me to a small work shadow of a judge at the District Courthouse in Portland, ME, because it has been amazingly interesting, educational, and most importantly enjoyable.
Written by Dylan Tureff, BC Class of 2019