/ Blog Post
My Impact is a conversation series from Equal Justice Works, using interviews with alumni to shine a light on what’s possible with an Equal Justice Works Fellowship. For our fourth installment, we spoke with Joshua Medina, 2016 Fellow hosted by the University of Alabama School of Law, staff attorney and pro bono coordinator at the National Crime Victim Law Institute, and current member of the Equal Justice Works Board of Directors.
In 2015, Alabama had the fastest-growing population of unaccompanied minor immigrants eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), but no one to provide low- or no-cost legal services to them. As a 2016 Fellow at the University of Alabama School of Law, Joshua Medina provided direct immigration legal services to these children, building an extensive network of partner attorneys and organizations to assist along the way.
“After I arrived in Alabama [for my Fellowship], I looked around and quickly realized I was the only nonprofit immigration attorney in the state,” said Joshua. “I learned that, as Fellows, we need to create space for our marginalized clients.” He spoke with us about making that space, and expanding that vision into a full-fledged legal career.
Following his Fellowship, Joshua transitioned to his current position as a staff attorney and pro bono coordinator at the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI), which he called “a dream scenario.”
“I saw myself in NCVLI’s mission in a big way.” In fact, Joshua shared, NCVLI served as a major inspiration for the framework of his Fellowship project, drawing from their national model of empowering clients to shape his work at the state level.
In addition to his dual role at NCVLI, Joshua also serves as a member of the Equal Justice Works Board of Directors—the very first Fellow alum to do so. “It lets me serve alongside passionate and talented people to facilitate opportunities for students and for Fellows to learn and grow and thrive in a space where they’re serving others,” he said.
Acknowledging the unique and difficult circumstances in which 2020 law school graduates must begin their careers, Joshua offered one final piece of advice: “commit to understanding and seeking the justice your clients envision for themselves,” he said.
To learn more about becoming a 2021 Equal Justice Works Fellow and kickstart your public interest law career, visit here.