Read my story

As an undergraduate at Oberlin College, Mary Slattery combined her fluency in Spanish and her commitment to social justice with a part-time job helping rural clients of the Immigrant Worker Project.

“I grew up on a farm, so it was a click for me,” she recalls.

Mary did everything from advocating for workplace and human rights to transporting and translating for women in need of pre-natal health care. After graduating from college, Mary joined the full-time staff. While working there and subsequently with the Legal Aid Society of New York and a migrant workers’ rights project in Thailand, Mary found her calling: becoming an attorney for low-income clients in search of justice. 

“As someone who had been out of college for a while, I wanted to go to a law school that emphasized the practical. I thought the classroom would be a necessary evil, but it turned out that topics I thought were very dry are actually very interesting,” says Mary. “When you go back and forth between co-ops and classes, you see how the law relates to life, detrimentally or positively.”

Now, at Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York, with funding from a prestigious Immigrant Justice Corps fellowship, Mary is the advocate clients need to access the rights they deserve. 

Co-op

Northwest Workers’ Justice Project, Portland (Oregon)

On her first co-op, Mary wrote and researched briefs, helped prepare for hearings and trials, drafted motions for default judgment and assisted in litigation for employment discrimination, worker misclassification and wage theft cases. 


Honors

Public Interest Law Scholar

Mary received a prestigious full-tuition Public Interest Law Scholarship based on her impressive academic profile as well as extensive experience in fields concerned with social justice and public service. 

Co-op

Legal Centre Lesbos, Mitilini (Greece)

To complement her knowledge of immigration law in the United States, Mary went to Greece to find out how the Hellenic Republic responds to refugees and asylum seekers. Mary prepared applications for asylum and humanitarian relief, and advocated for refugees with Greek and international agencies.

Concentration

Labor, Work and Income

The concentration in Labor, Work and Income offers students the opportunity to develop the skills they will need to represent employees and employers in both the unionized and non-unionized sectors.

Co-op

US Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review, San Francisco

To see things from the government’s side, Mary researched and drafted decisions on motions related to asylum and other forms of relief from removal.

Electives

  • Social Welfare Law
  • Basic Income Taxation
  • Immigration Law
  • Rights of Noncitizens
  • Labor Law I

Co-op

Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York, Albany

With a co-op funded by a New York Bar Foundation Fellowship, Mary gained experience in conducting client intake, via phone and prison visits, and conducted direct examinations in immigration hearings.

After graduation

Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow, Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York, Albany

Result

An advocate who puts the pieces of the puzzle together for clients.