Attending school in D.C. has provided me with one of the most amazing opportunities that helped me develop confidence in myself and my leadership skills. One of these experiences was working at the Department of Justice as a Student Paralegal Specialist in the Consumer Protection Branch for over two years advocating for minority communities alongside paralegals and attorneys who are as passionate about the same issues I am. I learned that there is no small job when attorneys are going on trial because every project and assignment contributes to the success of the team. It’s the little people such as the students that help make the office run smoothly because we know all of the ins and outs of the office.
I responded to consumer correspondence which required researching and directing consumers to the correct agency that could assist them. I pioneered new methods of managing the system which riddled our office of a backlog of letters accumulating since the government shutdown in 2013, and the inefficiency of the filing systems in place. During my time at the DOJ, I played a critical role in eliminating paper filing and moving towards efficient electronic copies. My visible commitment and sincerity in my work prompted the paralegal in charge of the consumer letters to consistently include me in meetings and ask for feedback on new processes. Throughout my time at the DOJ, I became the main employee in charge of the administrative tasks for consumer correspondence. Through these experiences I’ve become a fast and self-motivated learner and learned to adapt to critical situations by creating new and alternative ideas.
Furthermore at the DOJ, I work on cases involving deceptive trade practices, fraud, and harmful pharmaceutical devices targeting vulnerable communities including immigrants, the elderly, and those with low socioeconomic statuses. While at the DOJ I was able to strengthen my skills in Spanish translation through a case that involved a Peruvian citizen operating call centers that deceived and threatened Spanish-speaking victims in the United States, convincing them to pay fraudulent settlements or suffer the consequences of deportation or imprisonment. As the only Spanish-speaking student in the office I translated and organized over two hundred and fifty emails for the attorneys on the case. I was able to use my Spanish to help the attorneys stop the operation and indict this man for fraud. After working in this case, I continue to work on the Spanish Initiative cases. My work ethic, communication skills, adaptability, organizational skills has really made me a valued member at the Consumer Protection Branch. This job helped me improve on my leadership skills that will be used for future jobs and careers.