Honors College Criminal justice student Sophia Estupinan interned in International Association of Women Judges in Washington, DC, this summer. The non-profit organization brings together women judges from around the world with the dual focus of increasing the number of women judges and promoting equal justice for women and girls.
“I wanted to be a part of something that changes this constant glass ceiling that we’re always trying to break as women and as minorities in this system,” Estupinan said.
Estupinan worked on judicial projects for 13 countries, including Kenya, Uganda and Botswana, focusing on women and minority populations exposed to human trafficking, gender-based violence, early and forced marriage, corruption, education and health services .
Some of Estupinan’s key contributions include helping to create and develop court webinars and books, which are comprehensive reference guides designed to help women judges facing persecution, intimidation, displacement and threats to judicial independence globally.
“I reviewed and formatted the entire bench book that was published,” Estupinan said. It was just a blank, white word document. It was given to me and I turned it into the actual book itself.”
The summer was an integral part of Estupinan’s experience as a criminal justice major, as she expanded her classroom learning into hands-on work, such as documenting key points of the U.S. judicial system and sharing them with her peers. in meetings, creating press releases and media reports for training. is offered to foreign female judges.
Throughout the internship, Estupinan has also collaborated with projects affecting Latin American countries such as Mexico and Puerto Rico by serving as a translator. Her bilingual skills have played an important role in connecting and developing partnerships with Spanish-speaking nations.
Estupinan will culminate her undergraduate studies this fall, after which she plans to continue her studies to achieve her goal of being the first woman in her family to become a lawyer.
Estupinan is one of 120 students and graduates who interned in Washington last year. Many of these practices are facilitated by FIU in Washington, DCwhich is opening a bold and new place this fall.
– By Ivette Franco and Eric Feldman
FIU in Washington, DC is an integrated advocacy approach aimed at enhancing FIU’s national reputation and federal support for FIU’s preeminent and emerging programs, faculty and students. The FIU team in DC collaborates with academic units to provide learning experiences and support student and graduate placement in internships and permanent employment. For more information on becoming an intern in Washington, DC, visit talentlab.fiu.edu and email Eric Feldman at [email protected]
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