Recent Tufts graduate Lorenza shared the following about being a Summer Fellow with the Attorney General of Massachusetts, Public Protection & Advocacy Bureau, Fair Labor Division …
💼 What did you do as an intern at this organization?
I worked closely with investigators to perform case-related research, outreach to workers, translation and interpretation in oral Spanish and French over the phone and in onsite inspections. Moreover, I collaborated with partner legal service organizations to collect and analyze data to measure the success of the Wage Theft Clinic. I was also fortunate to be able to help lead community engagement meetings and training sessions across the state for diverse workers about wage and hour laws, as well as case-specific settlement agreements and investigations.
🔍 How did you find this internship?
Through the Tisch College of Civic Life.
😄 What did you enjoy most about your internship?
As a part of case-related outreach and at the Wage Theft Clinics, I was able to use my Spanish and French to communicate directly with and interpret for numerous immigrant, Limited English Proficient workers. There was an immense need for language access in this division, and I was able to provide invaluable interpretation and translation on a daily basis.
🤔 What did you find challenging?
The major case I worked on involved a settlement with over 170 workers–the majority of whom were Spanish-dominant, and many of whom were undocumented. Reaching out to these workers–and earning their trust–was incredibly difficult in the political climate of the time. Many did not know what the AGO did, and once they heard that it was a law enforcement agency, they wanted nothing to do with us–even if we were trying to help them and provide them with restitution money. Therefore, it became imperative that I create an outreach strategy to make them feel comfortable, while still educating them about the situation and the differences between the state and federal government.
📚 What advice would you offer to someone who wants to make the most of an internship like yours?
With this work, it is critical to maintain a connection to the communities that you are serving in an effort to understand their experiences and properly address the challenges they face. Offer to help not only the investigators, but the attorneys, and capitalize on opportunities to go to court and hearings if you’re exploring the possibility of going to law school. There are also a significant number of law school students who are eager to discuss the process, pros, cons, and challenges associated with the law school application process and first year.
☑️ About the Organization
The Attorney General’s Fair Labor Division protects workers from exploitation and sets a level playing field for employers. We enforce wage and hour, public construction, and child labor laws.