An innovative undergraduate program was launched last year
combining traditional service learning with externship
opportunities enabling College of Professional
legal studies undergraduates to work part-time at
immigration-rights and other course-related Catholic Charities
organizations for credit. In addition to these organizations — the
Catholic Migration Office and the Refugee Resettlement Program —
they also interned with the New York State Labor Relations Board.
“This is a wonderful way for students to get real-world experience
working side-by-side with attorneys,” says Professor of Criminal
Justice and Legal Studies
. Responsibilities include interviewing an immigrant
population these students have not been exposed to previously.
Students found the experience revelatory.“ Until you work at a
place like this you don’t know what it’s like to be persecuted just
for being a certain race or religion,” says one student intern.
Another confides, “When you interview a person facing deportation
after living in the U.S. almost his whole life you really want to
help.” Encouraged by the early success of this initiative,
Professor Noe has continued to offer students comparable
opportunities to make a difference that are linked to the focus of
the course she is teaching each semester including The Nassau
Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Queens Family Court.