Summer Experience: Working on LGBT issues at GLAD
April 4, 2013
Thomas Garza had a variety of interests he was looking to pursue in law school including education law and LGBT related issues. He decided to work at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), a Boston based impact litigation organization because he thought it was doing the most interesting work for LGBT rights.
During Thomas’s ten-week internship, he was immersed in numerous issues pertaining to LGBT rights. He conducted substantive legal research and wrote internal memos and portions of briefs. His legal research focused on issues ranging from employment discrimination to family law to education law. He also participated in various projects, including developing proposals for updated school bullying laws in Massachusetts. Thomas also worked on letters to school districts as well as public education documents, which were posted on GLAD’s website.
Thomas described the GLAD office as “small and collegial,” where interns sit right outside the lawyers’ offices. Since the office was small (there were two other law school interns and seven or eight lawyers), Thomas was able to play an active role in daily discussions and decisions. He was often the only person working with a lawyer on a project, so his “opinion was extremely valuable to them.” He had a high level of responsibility on several cases, including one pending before the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
Beyond building his legal research and writing skills, Thomas was able to learn about several types of law. He said he was surprised by the variety of types of law he was exposed to during his summer there. Thomas was also able to learn about a number of law firms through working with them on different cases. After getting to know different law firms, Thomas decided to work at one GLAD had worked closely with, saying that getting to learn about the firm through working with it on a case helped him make his decision.