The great work Good Counsel Services does would not be possible without our team of interns, fellows, and volunteers from around the world, with each person bringing new expertise and experience to the team. In our staff spotlight features, we introduce and highlight members of our wonderful team. This week we interviewed Isabella Devlin, a Legal Intern from New Zealand.
Isabella is currently a legal intern at Good Counsel Services and a fourth year Law and Biological Science student at the University of Auckland. She is passionate about the work we do at Good Counsel and putting her studies into practice to help bring access to justice to those who need it. In New Zealand, she has had work experience in criminal parole and genetic editing, and is looking forward to using what she’s learned with Good Counsel to make a difference back home.
What sparked your interest in law? What about law most interests you?
My first introduction to law was when I was twelve in year seven when my humanities teacher set up a mock trial in class. It was the most fun I’d ever had, and I knew that I wanted to try my hand at the real thing. Back then, I loved arguing my point and the courtroom drama of it all; now, I am much more interested in the research side of things, finding the small details that will make the biggest difference.
What made you want to gain legal experience for a nonprofit in the U.S. when you study law in New Zealand?
There isn’t anything in New Zealand that comes close to doing what Good Counsel does. The variety of work with such a broad range of clients keeps everything so interesting and I learn something new every day. There is also a greater number of opportunities to assist in asylum cases in the U.S than there is here, which is something I’m deeply passionate about.
What is your favorite part about your work? What are you most excited to learn about and gain experience in?
I love having the opportunity to engage in so many different projects, no two days are the same and I get to meet and learn from so many exciting people. It was so exciting to learn how to navigate the U.S Humanitarian Parole system, and hopefully, I’ll be able to use that knowledge to help more people going forward.
What do you hope to do with your degrees?
It’s probably the standard answer, but I don’t know yet. There are so many fascinating paths I could go down and so many different ways I can use my degrees to make the world a better place. I just want to try my hand at as many things as possible and not place myself in a box too soon.
How has your overall experience as an intern for Good Counsel been so far?
It has been brilliant! Everyone has been so lovely and welcoming and I’ve learned so much from them. I’ve felt like part of the team, despite being on the other side of the world. I’m so grateful for this time I’ve spent interning so far, and I can’t wait to see what the next few months will bring!