2012 Chayes Fellow Sarah Wheaton (JD ’14), on her summer with the St. Andrew’s Refugee Legal Aid Program, Egypt

“RLAP is a small NGO, which has its advantages and disadvantages. …The office is small and chaotic, right in the heart of downtown Cairo, and there is never enough interview space to go around – everyone is on top of each other and no one has their own desks. But this can be fun; everyone is laid back and relaxed about it. The relationships among the attorneys, interns, and staff are great – very friendly.

I loved the work and I loved getting to have my own clients and to see refugees every day. Hearing their stories was incredibly compelling, and you get to have a real impact on their lives. I would recommend this internship to anyone interested in refugee issues. … I do feel that I have a better understanding of the UNHCR and the issues refugees face, and the interviewing experience was invaluable. Being in the field and doing direct service was a great way to see how some of the things we learned in 1L can be applied.

This internship really made me consider working on refugee issues after graduation. I was more interested in human rights and women’s issues generally, and took the internship for the field experience and interviewing experience. But I fell in love with the refugees and working with them is such a unique experience – they have gone through such horrible things and international law touches their lives in a very concrete way.This internship confirmed my desire to work in public service and to work internationally, and opened my eyes to the joys of working with refugees and the need to combine policy advocacy with direct service.”

Lee Brand (JD ’12), Bridget Devoy (JD ’12), and Ellen Wheeler (JD ’12) on their work with the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program

“Through the Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program, we have spent the fall term studying the feasibility of implementing a dispute resolution system in the Egyptian microfinance sector.  While our interaction with stakeholders in Egypt has been limited to telephone interviews so far, we are eagerly anticipating our Winter Term trip to Cairo and Alexandria where we will be able to conduct interviews and focus groups in person.  We will then wrap up the project in spring with a report on our findings.”