In the summer of 2013, I interned with the New York State Division of Human Rights at the regional office in Rochester. The Division of Human Rights was created to enforce the state Human Rights Law, which prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, credit, places of public accommodation and non-sectarian educational institutions, based on age, race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, military status and other specified classes.
Throughout the internship, I worked on cases that focused on a variety of issues, including discrimination in employment based on disability, sexual orientation, race, gender, national origin, conviction record and age; discrimination in housing based on familial status and race; and retaliation for opposing a discriminatory practice. The experience was very hands-on and gave me the opportunity to interact directly with both parties in the dispute, as well as to see cases through from beginning to end. My responsibilities included complainant intake, complaint drafting, conducting witness interviews, writing case analyses, observing fact-finding conferences, writing conference reports and drafting final case determinations. Overall, the experience was rewarding, as it allowed me to gain valuable skills and to feel that I was making a contribution to the Rochester area.