Iulia Mirzac

Law and International Relations, 2016

Iulia Mirzac

I wanted to do this internship because the work Oxfam does globally, and specifically through Lawyers Against Poverty (LAP), is very similar to what I have always wanted to do, which is to use my law degree for the good of those who need it the most. I have noticed that the Oxfam LAP team have the same vision for their own lives, and I wanted to work under their supervision and learn from their experiences and wisdom in this regard as much as I possibly could.

Iulia first became interested in the work of Oxfam Lawyers Against Poverty when she attended the launch event of the initiative at local solicitor’s firm, now as a new graduate she is completing a legal research internship within their team.

I wanted to do this internship because the work Oxfam does globally, and specifically through Lawyers Against Poverty (LAP), is very similar to what I have always wanted to do, which is to use my law degree for the good of those who need it the most. I have noticed that the Oxfam LAP team have the same vision for their own lives, and I wanted to work under their supervision and learn from their experiences and wisdom in this regard as much as I possibly could.

I am currently on a three month placement working as the team’s legal research intern. The research I am currently undertaking focuses on legal education in African countries. However, my role is much broader than that: I have been involved in coordinating a number of events, including a migration fact-finding trip, I participate in meetings, take minutes and help coordinate efforts across our various working groups. I am also involved in drafting documents and have even had the chance to use my linguistic skills to translate legal documents from English to French!

There is no typical day – every day is unique, presenting me with new challenges and opportunities. I often feel honoured that my manager entrusts me with important work and allows me to learn so much on the go. Most importantly, I have felt supported in all I do and a valued member of the team – I believe their support is a major reason why I have benefitted so much from the internship already.

Meeting and working with so many big-hearted lawyers is one of the aspects I enjoy the most about my internship. I often feel honoured and privileged to be part of a team who works so hard to bring justice to those who need it most.

One of the projects I am currently involved with is coordinating efforts across law firms and universities, to provide work experience opportunities for individuals from the refugee communities here in the UK. I have also been involved in facilitating Summer Law Schools for young people from the refugee communities, in an effort to help them better integrate into our society and education system.

Lawyers Against Poverty Week, which took place from 13 to 20 June 2016, was the highlight of my first month at Oxfam, and I was particularly pleased and grateful that the School of Law at my own University hosted one of the events on June 17.

After the internship I would like to undertake further policy-making legal research. My research interests include migration, human trafficking, protection of the vulnerable in peace and conflict, European Union related legal issues and the role of the legal profession in all of the above. I would also be delighted to continue my involvement with Oxford Brookes University student experience work as part of the PESE 2 projects. I am closely involved with the ‘Festival of Learning’ project and am very enthusiastic about the launch of the ‘Community of Learning’ student-led workshops in September 2016.