Major: Political Science-Legal Studies
Hometown: Dos Palos, CA
Program Position: Co-Director | Community Legal Information Center (CLIC)
As a Legal Studies major, Kyle is required to complete two internships. Many of his classmates worked at CLIC and he was impressed with the kind of relationships they had with faculty. Kyle decided that he wanted to have that kind of connection with his professors, so CLIC was the route for him. “Being a director at CLIC is a fast track to connecting with Political Science faculty. Knowing your professors makes you want to perform for them.” His first internship at CLIC was with Misdemeanors, Traffic, and Tickets. In this program he assisted clients with DUI and MIP situations and other police/citizen interactions. He interviewed clients, discerned the facts of their cases, did research, and helped prepare them for court dates. “We never advise our clients. We give them accurate information to help them make an informed decision about the appropriate course of action.”
After only a semester in that program, Kyle decided to apply for a co-director position with Chico Consumer Protection Agency (CCPA). “Switching departments was a real rush. I had to learn a lot of new things quickly.” In CCPA Kyle supervises up to 12 interns who deal with many different areas of law: foreclosures, bankruptcy, probate, power of attorney, and small claims. “Our goal is to protect the consumer as well as small business owners.” Kyle loves the variety that CCPA offers. “It’s kind of a catch-all department. We get to work alongside all of CLIC’s other programs. Whenever there is ‘wrong’ committed where redress or compensation is necessary, Small Claims gets involved. We work with Family Law a lot as well. We get to hear about all these different cases and we get to help. It’s super interesting to me to hear about each individual’s situation.” Beyond the client interaction, Kyle has many administrative responsibilities which include preparing a syllabus and a training packet for the interns, tracking clients served, coordinating a fund raiser and an outreach event. Since CLIC is involved in a big push to go paperless, Kyle’s recent outreach efforts included an electronic newsletter about CCPC services.
Kyle credits CLIC with the development of his interpersonal skills. “CLIC has helped me become more organized and more social. I’ve learned how to interact with a variety of clients who come through our door. I’ve also learned how to work effectively with the interns I supervise. My role is to help encourage and motivate the interns when they hit the wall. I offer to work alongside them to keep them focused.”
Kyle will graduate in May and possibly take a year off to intern with CREW, a campus Christian ministry. Then he plans to get back on his legal career track with a couple of options in mind. Kyle has taken several American Indian Studies classes and is considering pursuing tribal law or, perhaps, joining the Navy for his legal training.
In Kyle’s words:
“In my Legal Research class I have to draft a memorandum and case briefs, all hypothetical, but then I go to CLIC and have to do it for real. It’s great preparation for law school.”