As in previous years, the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights is proud to host interns; this summer, the composition of interns is a mixture of law students, an undergraduate, and the fourth cohort of the Minneapolis Urban Scholars. The purpose of our summer program is provide bright student with the opportunity to have meaningful and educational work, to build partnerships in the community, and to give a platform for those students who are interested in pursuing a career in civil rights work.
This year, Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights is excited to welcome two Minnesota Justice Foundation law clerks, Pharaoh Lewis and Kaela McConnon, and a Step-Up Intern, Wendy Lorenzo-Sanchez!
Minnesota Justice Foundation (MJF) Law Clerks
In the summer MJF clerkship program, law students will work under the supervision of attorneys from the department reviewing complaints, researching, analyzing cases, and drafting various documents.
MJF Law Clerks Pharaoh Lewis and Kaela McConnon
Mr. Pharaoh Lewis is a rising second year law student at the University of St. Thomas, School of Law. This summer, he will be working with Complaint Investigations Division. Mr. Lewis has experience working with the local community through various outreach opportunities. He has a passion for helping minority groups and believes the MJF Summer Clerkship with the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights will allow him to pursue this goal. He looks forward to learning about the legal system and the methods the department uses to champion civil rights within the City of Minneapolis. He also plans to help the department by working on cases, researching and analyzing complicated cases, and working with the Commission on Civil Rights to create a “Contested Case Hearing Manual.” Mr. Lewis’s future goal is to help minority businesses establish themselves in the Twin Cities through the legal process. He is confident the clerkship with the department will give him the necessary tools to pursue that goal.
Ms. Kaela McConnon is a rising second year law student at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul. This summer, Ms. McConnon will work with the Office of Police Conduct Review. Kaela is passionate about advocacy and has a background in human rights advocacy work, focusing on domestic and international human rights and criminal justice issues. She is eager to learn about the work of the Office of Police Conduct Review, the Minneapolis Police Department, and the overall process of civilian oversight of law enforcement. She looks forward to participating in community engagement projects with the Office, as well as contributing to the Police Conduct Oversight Commission’s policy and research report regard to the Minneapolis Police Department’s use of body cameras. Ms. McConnon hopes to work in civil and human rights throughout her legal career, and is excited to begin that work with the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights.
Over the years, the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights has been a huge supporter of the Minnesota Justice Foundations’ programming and featured in their annual report:
Ms. Wendy Lorenzo-Sanchez is a graduate of Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis. She will be attending Bethel University this fall and plans to major in Criminal justice. I believe that taking this route in college will give me the opportunity to reach my goal of going into law enforcement to gain the resources and position to help my community. “I believe that my internship with the City of Minneapolis has helped me a lot when it comes to getting to know my community better. The exposure to different services offered through the City has really opened my mind to more issues that people face in their lives. This experience has also made me realized there are a lot of job positions out there to explore,” said Ms. Lorenzo-Sanchez. While she knows that plans change, Ms. Lorenzo-Sanchez is confident that in the future she will use her education, experiences and compassion to address issues with underserved populations in the community.
A Step in the Educational Process
An internship is a building block of the educational process. It develops skills, makes interns more well-rounded applicants, and can lead to career opportunities:
“My internship experience with the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights was the foundation of my future career with the Department. Instead of being in the shadows in an observational role, the internship provided me with practical, hands-on experience that I could not get in the classroom. The internship afforded me the opportunity to get the professional training and the work experience I needed for future career with the Department.” – Faith Jackson, Policy Aide to the Director and former Urban Scholar intern.