Robyn’s role within our team
We have partnered up with The Robertson Trust to welcome a group of interns into our JustRight Scotland team.
Some of them have been working alongside our legal teams and others have worked with JustRight For All staff members.
Robyn joined us as a legal intern last summer. Here’s what Robyn had to say about it!
My experience at JustRight Scotland
I was at JustRight Scotland (JRS) for 9 weeks and during this time I worked in the Scottish Migrant and Refugee Centre and the Scottish Anti-Trafficking and Exploitation Centre. When I found out I would be working in these departments I felt nervous because I had no previous experience or knowledge in these areas.
The staff members were so welcoming!
During each meeting and conversation, they took the time to make sure I was up to speed and understood what was being discussed. I felt at home instantly and was comfortable asking questions or asking for help. I certainly still made mistakes or got things wrong, but everyone was always encouraging and helpful with the work I was assigned.
Everyone I encountered was friendly and approachable and it really felt like I was part of a team who valued one another. There was also an emphasis placed on healthy working practices which was a big relief as I always imagined that I would have to devote my life to working if I wanted to work in the legal sector. It was great to see the solicitors and other senior members of staff lead by example and make sure we all looked after ourselves.
What I learned
I was able to help with a lot of varied work that I never would’ve had the opportunity to assist with otherwise and through this I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge about immigration, asylum and trafficking which will help me massively going forward, especially in the legal sector. The legal team placed a lot of confidence in their interns and gave me meaningful tasks which was daunting at first, but whenever I had a problem or questions there was always someone available to help. I’ve become so much more confident as a result of this, and I’ve developed a strong understanding not just of important areas of the law but also the administrative processes which uphold them.
I was able to improve my communication skills through this internship as a lot of my work included corresponding with other agencies such as the Home Office. Now I have a much better understanding of how to draft more formal correspondence, including emails and letters, which I’m sure will serve me well in many aspects of life!
I was also given the opportunity to get in touch with potential clients which has helped me enhance not only my telephone etiquette but also my understanding of legal issues, as I often had to ask clients more information about their cases and decide what was or wasn’t relevant, and ask any follow-up questions about the information they provided me.
I also conducted research for the solicitors and was able to gain knowledge about other legal systems, such as citizenship laws in Ethiopia and passport applications in Rwanda, as well as the UK and Scottish legal systems, for example access to social security and education for migrants. These research tasks have been highly beneficial for me as they have provided knowledge that otherwise I would not have had as well as an opportunity to develop my research skills, an important asset for any legal professional.
Above all, knowing that the work I was doing was contributing to a real person’s case was rewarding. It was a great source of motivation to ensure that I always completed work quickly and to a high standard, and it was fulfilling to know that by completing tasks – even those that seemed small – I was helping someone access vital support, or apply for Refugee Status, or uphold a human right.
I really enjoyed my time at JRS and would recommend it to anyone looking for an internship or job where they can help people. Everyone at JRS works hard to make the world a better place and have helped so many people by doing so. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have learned from them and can only describe my internship as invaluable.
We’d like to thank The Robertson Trust for their initiative, and of course a huge thanks to Robyn for her amazing work, her input and her exceptional skills – we wish Robyn all the best for her next chapter!