Psychology senior Ana Lucia Hurtado

Ana Lucia HurtadoAlthough I'm embarrassed to admit it, I began this internship with a myth I had embraced for a long time--that of my biased expectations of what lawyers were like as people. In fact, for many years, this fallacious image of who lawyers really were had been one of the main reasons that I remained wary of choosing a career in law. All I knew was that, whether because of the media, society's opinions, or my own erroneous biases, I thought most lawyers ended up compromising their integrity and ethical principles due to the nature of their job. More importantly, I knew I didn't want to become that kind of person.

Fortunately, it was with great relief that I was proved wrong this summer at the CRC. I happened to have worked with two wonderful attorneys, Bree Buchanan and Tiffany Roper, who not only showed me that being an ethical lawyer wasn't an oxymoron, but that one could continue to be a down-to-earth, likeable individual who respected others and maintained their virtue. Furthermore, the Children's Rights Clinic showed me that there do exist law settings that don't practice superfluous billing and always remain focused on their goal to serve their clients well, many of whom come from underrepresented and indigent backgrounds. The realization that this kind of setting was available for me to explore greatly appealed to me, and I hope to one day continue to serve these communities through non-profit or pro-bono work.

Before this internship, I had been bouncing around with ambivalence in terms of which graduate program, and ultimately career, I would pursue. I had explored so many of them, always hoping to find my vocation like my older sisters had managed to find. This internship through the Children's Rights Clinic has given me that feeling that I longed for but never got after attending all the other career-related programs. I still can't quite wipe the smile off my face, one which clearly reads, "EUREKA! I've finally found it!" It's helped me dispel many myths I had for many years and has helped me finally find a career that I can be passionate about. I hope that through my dedication as a mother and soon-to-be law student and then lawyer, I will be the instrument to guide my own children's futures just as my parents bent mightily so that my sisters and I could fly swift and far.

Ana's story is featured in the Austin American-Statesman.

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