AVDA Summer Interns: Law Students with Eyes on the Future

Jan 18, 2018


AVDA Legal Interns Jaylin Jackson & Michelle Stockton

Since 2006, AVDA has actively recruited summer Legal Interns from ABA-accredited law schools for clerkships in family-law litigation. They work side-by-side AVDA’s eight trauma-informed attorneys and eight paralegals, aiding with legal research, drafting letters and pleadings, and more.

This summer is no different: two exceptional, highly motivated first-year law students are currently being mentored by AVDA’s legal team. “We are focused on education and training for our interns Michelle Stockton and Jaylin Jackson,” says Maisha Colter, AVDA’s Director of Legal Advocacy Program. “As dedicated as our team is to helping survivors get protective orders, child support, child custody, and divorces, we all seek to foster a commitment to public interest and pro bono endeavors in future practitioners of law.”

From witnessing courtroom drama first-hand to drafting Qualified Domestic Relation Orders and subpoenas, Jaylin and Michelle have already gained priceless experience in their first month as AVDA Legal Interns. Although they share the same ultimate goal—to work in the area of family law—their individual approaches are uniquely their own.

Majoring in Development and Family Studies at University of North Texas, Jaylin cultivated a deep interest in helping families. While an undergrad, she interned at a firm specializing in family law in Plano, Texas, and was subsequently hired as a legal assistant. Now back in her hometown of Houston with one year at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University, under her belt, Jaylin remains steadfast in her goal to practice family law. She looks forward to supporting families and connecting with her clients as a solo practitioner.

An Austin native and a graduate of the University of Texas, Michelle recently completed her first year at University of Houston Law Center. She ultimately envisions heading her own nonprofit organization to provide legal aid to student victims of sexual assault on college campuses. Her goal is to have a direct impact on the statistic that nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors while one in six (16%) college women has been sexually abused in a dating relationship. It was this passion that led her to the AVDA summer internship, which, in turn, is providing her with the experience and knowledge she needs to pursue her dream.

In addition to summer Legal Internships, AVDA also offers semester-long internships in family-law litigation. The Legal Fellows Program affords law students or recent graduates the opportunity to complete a service project over a year of training. Although AVDA recruits students from across the country for these programs, there is an emphasis on hiring students from our local law schools.

For LPC-Interns and those pursuing a Masters in Counseling, AVDA accepts counseling and social work practicum students for semester-long internships.

For more information on all AVDA internships, please visit https://avda.org/get-involved/