Mary Slattery ’18
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. For me, it takes practical work experience for material to really sink in.”
Now, as an immigration staff attorney at Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York — which she initially joined with as an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow — Mary is the advocate clients need to access the rights they deserve.
Public Interest Law Scholar
Mary received a prestigious full-tuition Public Interest Law Scholarship from the law school based on her impressive academic profile as well as extensive experience in fields concerned with social justice and public service.
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.
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.
- Basic Income Taxation
- Immigration Law
- Labor Law I
- Rights of Noncitizens
- Social Welfare Law
US Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review, San Francisco, California
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.
Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York, Albany, New York
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.