Our The Asylum Project (TAP) Summer Student and 2021/22 Coordinator, Francesca Pozzo, talks about her time in the project and and her experience as a Summer Student working exclusively on TAP casework.
The Law Clinic has taught me more than I could have hoped – compassion, ethics, integrity and teamwork. The most valuable insight I have gained from the clinic is into who I want to be as a solicitor. The Asylum Project, which I joined in my first year in the clinic, ignited a passion for helping refugees and asylum seekers progress their cases and hopefully find safety and stability.
As the Summer Student allocated to The Asylum Project, I have had the opportunity to focus on these cases and undertake consistent work in an area that interests me. It has presented challenges – the law is detailed and case dependent, however I have thoroughly enjoyed this aspect as it has given me a breadth of insight and developed my knowledge in these areas. Being able to dedicate time to our TAP clients has cemented my desire to practice in this area.
My work has included drafting letters of advice, liaising with other solicitors, researching, calling clients using an interpreter and reading reports and court decisions. Although I am participating exclusively in TAP cases, I always feel connected to and included in the Law Clinic through our daily meetings and coffee breaks. Remote working can be difficult, but the supervisors and Student Directors have done an amazing job of fostering a sense of community in the absence of being able to work together in the office. I’ve also had the opportunity to get involved in summer projects with other students. There is constant support and guidance from Kate, Kathleen, Gillian and Diane, creating a truly great environment in which to work and learn.
My experience as a Summer Student has strengthened many skills I’ve gained since joining the Law Clinic. It has fostered a confidence in my own abilities through a balance between advice from supervisors and the space to do independent work. It has given me a real insight into what life may be like in practice, and I can only hope to join a working environment half as supportive in the future. To anyone who would like to gain experience and develop their skills, I would fully recommend applying to be a Summer Student – you won’t regret it!
Francesca Pozzo, Summer Student and TAP Coordinator 2021/22
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