Silvie Senauke, Class of 2012

Major: American Studies; Organization: San Francisco Family Law Self-Help Center; Location: San Francisco, CA

Silvie Senauke, Class of 2012

This summer I have been working at the San Francisco Family Law Self-Help Center, an organization that serves anyone involved in a family law case in San Francisco and does not have a lawyer. Instead of fetching coffee and making copies all day, this internship has given me the opportunity to spend my summer working one-on-one with a varied clientele. Employees at the self-help center assist with explaining the processes of family court, laying out clients’ options, and helping them fill out the proper forms. My days take the form of individual meetings with clients during which I find out their situation and assist them with paperwork. On any one day I may assist a Litigant beginning their divorce, help another request child custody, work with someone on responding to their spouses’ request for divorce, and help a Litigant lay out their requested visitation plan for review by the Judge. I have also had a chance to assist in the courtroom during a special calendar for Self-Represented Litigants. As much as this job is a lot of paperwork, I never have a boring day. Working at the self-help center has given me the chance to understand one of the services San Francisco runs that really helps people—on a single morning the center works with 30 to 50 individuals. It has been extremely rewarding to feel that I can have a direct and positive impact on the lives of so many living in my community.