Students interested in law should listen up – Robin Unander has got the hookup.
The Associated Students Legal Resource Center (LRC) is providing students interested in law careers with internship opportunities in the Santa Barbara area through a new program that allows juniors and seniors with a minimum 2.8 GPA to apply for intern positions available through LRC attorney Robin Unander. LRC Committee Chair Jesse Uman said Unander’s broad connections in the Santa Barbara area would allow the program to meet students’ unique areas of interest in law.
“Students can pretty much request what area of law they want to work in,” Uman said. “It’s great that we at UCSB have these lawyers who are well-connected throughout the Santa Barbara legal community.”
The LRC will hold an informational meeting tonight at 5:30 p.m. with free food and drinks in the MultiCultural Center Conference Room where students can learn more about the program and hear talks from current interns on their experiences.
Unander said the program began assigning students to law offices in the middle of the quarter. She has already placed five students in positions with the district attorney, judicial offices and private law firms. She said the program would provide roughly 30 additional positions lasting for a quarter each.
“I have several [law offices] who are interested, so it’s a matter of how many students I can get,” she said.
Unander said the program offers students an opportunity to see what she calls, “the legal life.”
“I had no idea what the law life was like, and there was nothing in place to find internships back then,” Unander said. “It’s an incredible backstage pass to the actual practice of law, to see if that’s where you see yourself in a couple of years.”
Kristen Ditlevsen, a junior sociology major and A.S. Legislative Council representative to LRC, began her internship through LRC three weeks ago in a private law office in Santa Barbara. She said the position has offered her an educational view of the legal world.
“It’s a good opportunity for students to see what really goes on in law … and to make contacts within the larger community,” Ditlevsen said.
After graduating from UCSB, Ditlevsen plans to attend law school, which Unander said can cost an average total of $125,000 for three years.
“Considering what a huge commitment law school is, it’s good for students to get introduced now,” Unander said.
The LRC was an A.S.-affiliated entity on campus for 10 years but became a service offered for free to students after a $1.50 per quarter lock-in fee was passed in Spring 2001, Uman said. The office employs two lawyers for 20 hours a week during which they are free to meet with students to advise them on any legal problem.
“A.S. [has] contracts with two lawyers to be in [the] LRC office four days a week when students can make appointments to discuss landlord/tenant issues, taxes or DUIs and MIPs,” Uman said.
The LRC office sees roughly 12 students each week, but Unander said the office is set up to handle more. She plans to set up a table in the Arbor on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to inform students of the legal assistance available to them.
“We’re still trying to get the word out,” Unander said. “We definitely have room to see more [students]; we are an underutilized resource.”