During her time in law school, Alva Prenga 3L always felt she wanted to do something that would fulfill her beyond her student requirements. She says, “I yearned for an opportunity to use my legal education to aid individuals in their daily struggles.”
In the spring semester of her second year, Alva applied for the Youth Advocacy Clinic in hopes of being selected to represent youth in their current immigration issues. Now as a third-year student, Alva works under a student practice order, and under the supervision of Professor Theo Liebmann, to advocate for clients in their Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) applications.
The Youth Advocacy Clinic: “My experiences in the Youth Advocacy Clinic thus far have been invaluable and have truly sparked my passion for this profession. This clinic, along with other clinics, gives students an opportunity to build personal relationships with clients, and to advocate for them in the closest way possible. Between motion writing, client meetings, and advocacy in court, the Youth Advocacy Clinic has allowed me to strengthen all my skills and gain all of the tools necessary to be an effective and diligent attorney. Additionally, having Professor Liebmann to guide and support the students in his clinic, has given me the confidence needed to bring forth my most effective work.”
Making Connections with Clients: “As a product of immigration myself, this clinic is even more special to me than just the clinical experience I am gaining. When I was younger, my family emigrated from Albania to the United States for our safety and for better opportunities. Being able to work on behalf of immigrant children with a similar background has given me a greater understanding of the vulnerability of my clients.”
A Life-Changing Experience: “I believe participating in the Youth Advocacy Clinic in light of the heightened immigration issues present in our country has offered me a life changing experience. My clients have become a daily part of my semester and have truly made my experience as a clinic student memorable. I would highly recommend taking part in a clinic opportunity, as it has been the most effective experience I have been a part of as a law student.”