Minnesota Law

Summer 2022
All Rise

Summer Experiences: Rising 3L Mica Standing Soldier, Initiative for a Representative First Amendment Fellow

Rising 2L Mica Standing Soldier is spending the summer as an Initiative for a Representative First Amendment (IfRFA) fellow. The fellowship, which is through Harvard Law’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society and Cyberlaw Clinic, allows recipients to work at the Cyberlaw Clinic or an affiliate clinic. Standing Soldier elected to focus her experience at the Science, Health, and Information Clinic at Columbia Law.

How did you connect with this summer opportunity?

I really wanted to find a place that allowed me to focus on growing my research portfolio. This opportunity was featured on Symplicity and after reading the job description it felt like an instant match. 

How does your experience connect with what you currently envision doing with your law degree?

I’m interested in advocacy and activism through a scientific lens—I’m not sure there’s a concrete pathway for that, but my experiences with this clinic have certainly opened my eyes to many new possibilities. 

Please describe a “typical” workday on the job.

It depends on the project, but I typically meet with my supervising professor to solidify a weekly agenda and go from there. I spend a good amount of time on PubMed and other databases for research purposes, and I’ve become somewhat of a bluebooking aficionado. We meet with our client via zoom to discuss projects and goals, and I’m usually the point person for email communication. 

What is something you learned or experienced that was surprising or particularly compelling during this summer position?

I’m learning how to advocate for at-risk communities and marginalized people in a completely different realm than my previous experience. I’ve noticed a lot of obfuscation in the health care industry, and health law is fairly inaccessible if you don’t have someone with experience guiding you through it. 

What are a few of your key takeaways from the experience so far?

The IfRFA team, other program fellows, and my supervising professor are some of the most intelligent and kind people I’ve ever met. 

The Harvard campus is absolutely stunning (no shade to Mondale Hall). 

Initially I felt major imposter syndrome, but I’m learning that so much knowledge and experience is gatekept from certain communities in the name of elitism. I’m happy to be working alongside the folks who are trying to break down those barriers.  

How has your summer experience compared with your expectations?

Above and beyond. 

What advice would you offer another law student thinking about working in a similar position next summer?

I’m a huge proponent of creating your own path. Becoming a lawyer means you have a certain range of motion after graduation that other professions don’t. Use that flexibility to find something you really love doing.  

How are you spending your free time this summer?

The world is pretty chaotic right now. It’s been crucial that I focus on my mental health and all the little things that make me happy. I love being with friends and I’m always working my way through an endless lineup of horror movies.

What are you most looking forward to in returning to Minnesota Law this fall?

I miss my friends! I also miss dressing up every day. Working remotely means I get away with pajamas too much.