Meet BFC’s Summer Law Clerks
August 13, 2020 by BFC in Legal Clinic Our Staff
Bread for the City is hosting (remotely) some fierce social justice fighters this summer in the Legal Clinic. Get to know some of these amazing Summer Law Clerks!
Patrick Ishimwe: Hello friends! As I begin my summer law clerk experience at the Bread For The City legal clinic, I would like to take this time to introduce myself and most importantly thank the clinic for giving me an opportunity of a lifetime.
My name is Patrick Ishimwe and I am a rising second year law student at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law. I was born in Rwanda just two years before the Genocide of 1994 began. Since fleeing Rwanda when I was two years old, I have lived in some of the most unstable corners of our planet (the refugee camps of Congo, the Slums of Kenya, the villages of Togo, and the low-income housing projects of Buffalo, New York). Over the course of my life, I have interacted with people from more than 50 tribes and learned to speak 5 new languages fluently.
The life experiences above have inspired me to choose a career in public service. Since graduating from Houghton College in May of 2015, I have worked as a Teacher’s Assistant through AmeriCorps’ ABLE program, and as a non-profit’s Administrative Assistant through AmeriCorps’ VISTA program. From 2016 to 2019, I had the honor and the privilege to serve as a Deputy Director of Community Relations for the County Executive of Erie County, New York. Helping seniors apply for social security retirement benefits, connecting people to homeless shelters, and serving on various committees with corporate CEOs and small business owners, was more fulfilling than I could have anticipated. Getting out of my own concerns and caring about other people every day reminded me that I am not the center of the universe.
The years I spent working for the County Executive challenged me professionally in a way that nothing else ever has. A part of my job involved answering phone calls and responding to constituent’s complaints. I shared the pain of families who lost their homes, and the frustration of workers who lost their jobs and health insurance.
Looking onto life after law school, while I currently do not know what type of law I wish to practice, as a former refugee, I know that immigration, human rights, and civil rights are topics that are close to my heart. As a current homeowner in Buffalo, New York, I also have a deep interest in property and housing law. I am hoping that this experience as a summer law clerk at Bread For The City will help me carve my path towards a successful legal career.
On a different note, like most Africans, I am a huge soccer fan and welcome any opportunities to talk about this sport with anyone who is interested. In my spare time, I like to listen to music, read, and go to the gym. I look forward to getting to know you all and I hope you have a wonderful summer. Thank you!
Tai Williams: Tai Williams is a rising 2L at The George Washington University Law School. She graduated from Tufts University, where she double majored in Psychology and Spanish. Prior to law school, Tai worked for two years as an immigration paralegal. She is eager to provide legal assistance to the DC community and looks forward to a wonderful summer working with Bread!
Tamar Hoffman: Tamar Hoffman is a rising 2L at Georgetown Law. Before starting law school, Tamar worked as a paralegal at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia’s housing unit and the Legal Services Center’s Project on Predatory Student Lending in Boston. She grew up in New York and Israel, and attended Haverford College in the Philly area. In her free time, Tamar enjoys getting to know D.C. on bike, learning martial arts, and traveling. Tamar could not be more thrilled to be at Bread for the City this summer, and looks forward to learning more about all of the important work happening here!
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