This summer, Bet Tzedek had 41 distinguished law students and undergraduates from across the United States as our Summer for Justice interns! Among these diverse interns were both international and first-generation American students. With experiences ranging from teaching to working as a marketing consultant to being a community organizer, these exceptional students hailed from schools like UCLA, Duke University, Occidental College, Washington University in St. Louis, UC Berkeley, the University of Chicago, Southwestern College, Tulane University, and University of Southern California. They were embedded with our amazing team of in-house experts across all the critical program areas we cover. Their contributions to our organization and to the client communities we serve proved significant in our ongoing effort to “bend the arc” towards social justice!
Sarine Krovitz, a 2023 Summer for Justice intern who worked with the Small Business Development Team, shares her experience in Unlawful Detainer/Eviction (UD) Court:
“As a Summer for Justice intern at Bet Tzedek, I went into court with the Eviction Defense Project to learn about their work. I watched tenants stand alone in front of the judge without an attorney, facing homelessness. Every single landlord that came into court while I was there had an attorney representing them. Most tenants did not. Again and again, I heard desperate tenants try to argue their cases, ask for more time, or tell the judge that they didn’t know what to do. Most of those tenants without representation were evicted. It was heartbreaking to watch. They were scared, dejected, and alone.
But I saw how cases transformed when tenants had an attorney by their side. One Bet Tzedek attorney convinced the judge to deny the prosecution’s motion for summary judgment, saving his client from being evicted that day. As he was arguing the case, the tenant sat next to him with her head held high, nodding along to everything he was saying. Her confidence was palpable. She wasn’t alone.
I understand now that eviction defense attorneys are not only vital for achieving justice for tenants, but also for preserving the dignity and humanity of every person facing eviction. I am lucky to have had the chance to watch Bet Tzedek attorneys doing this incredible work.”
Read more quotes from our 2023 Summer for Justice interns under our Bet Tzedek social media hashtag, #BetTzedekSummerForJusticeInterns.