The Internship Highlight: Isabella Zuluaga

The Internship Highlight: Isabella Zuluaga
Photo of Internship Student Isabella ZuluagaInternship Highlight: Isabella Zuluaga

Pascack Valley senior Isabella Zuluaga is currently interning at The Law Offices of Jeffrey Steinfeld, P.C. located in Hackensack, NJ. Isabella’s mentor is Jeffrey Steinfeld. His office specializes in immigration and criminal law and some of its services include assisting in green card applications, visa applications, employment authorizations, and other administrative specialties. 

When Isabella first started interning at the law office, she said her mentor played a major role in helping her gain insight into the lives of real attorneys. 

In speaking with Isabella she said:

“My first impression [of Mr. Steinfeld] was that he was very nice to begin with but you can tell he was very busy. When I first came into his office, there were stacks of cases on top of cases so that was a little overwhelming. However, as you learn more about [the internship] you understand more about their work.” 

Isabella interns with a hybrid schedule where she would go into Mr. Steinfeld’s office on certain days to discuss legal cases he’s working on and then he would give her assignments to work on at home based on those cases. Many of Isabella’s assignments include doing research on certain legal issues, analyzing legal documents, writing memos, and even viewing interrogation tapes. After completing her research, Isabella would then share her findings with Mr. Steinfeld.

“I’m very grateful for this experience because from the beginning, [Mr. Steinfeld] has had me very involved. It’s really cool because some of the work that I do, such as my memos, are used in court.” Isabella said. “It was cool knowing that my work was being used in that setting and it gave me hands-on experience. It also showed me that this is actually what I want to do in the future.” 

Although he initially got involved with the Internship Program around eight years ago, Mr. Steinfeld said that Isabella was the first intern he had “in a long time” due to fewer interns choosing to go into law.

“I was really thrilled [to have an intern]. Isabella has been amazing. She works really hard. She’s very smart and she has been of great assistance to me in a number of different types of cases,” Mr. Steinfeld said. “I've thrown a lot at her in terms of immigration and criminal cases, and she's been tremendously helpful. I think the experience has been rewarding for her, as well, because she’s been learning a lot and she’s been a real asset.”  
To help expand her legal knowledge, Mr. Steinfeld gave Isabella immigration books and case law to research. 

“I found that whatever I've given [Isabella], she's been able to handle it without any issues. She may have a couple of questions but otherwise, it really hasn't been an issue because she really has embraced [her internship], and she inherently understands what she needs to do,” Mr. Steinfeld said.

Isabella is planning to attend college after high school. While Isabella has not yet made a final decision as to which college she will attend, she knows that she will major in English because she’s learned that writing is very important in the law field and legal system.

Isabella Working
Photo of Isabella Zuluaga working on her internship assignments

Isabella at the office
Photo of Isabella Zuluaga in front of The Law Offices of Jeffrey Steinfeld, P.C.

Law Books
Immigration books from mentor, Jeffrey Steinfeld
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