Metcalf Memoirs: Erika Rist

Translating keen thought into a reduction of bias and harm.
Metcalf Collage
Photo by: 
Gordon Lew, College Visual Media Editor, Class of 2015
I am continually reminded of the importance of deep thought in ensuring civil and human rights.

As the summer internship season kicks off, the College media team has gathered reflections from a few students in each UChicago Careers In... (UCI) program who held Jeff Metcalf internships this past summer. Here is what they had to say about their experiences.


Erika Rist, Class of 2014
Philosophy major, Human Rights minor
Primary UCI program: Law
Name of internship: Intern at Center for WorkLife Law, UC Hastings College of the Law
Internship location: San Francisco

Q: What attracted you to the Metcalf internship that you have been doing this summer?

A: I sought to work at an organization that fused great minds with powerful work—learning from the women of WLL [WorkLife Law] and seeing how they translate keen thought into a reduction of bias and harm will prove instrumental for me, I believe, as I continue to train my mind to do the same.

Q: How does your major or other coursework at UChicago relate to the kind of work that you are doing for your Metcalf?

A: As it turns out, a background in Philosophy does wonders when combing law review articles to ensure that they are conceptually and linguistically consistent.

Q: What was going through your mind as you prepared and showed up for your first day on the job?

A: Don't trip.

Photo courtesy of Erika Rist, Class of 2014

Q: What has been the most challenging aspect of your Metcalf, and how have you dealt with or overcome that challenge?

A: I've realized this summer that I'm more susceptible than I'd realized to the issues that continue to haunt women. It has, however, quickly fueled me in my continual work to try to ensure not that women are afforded the same opportunities as men, exactly, but, rather, that all are afforded the same treatment in the eyes of the law regardless of gender or sex.

Q: What is the most important lesson you have learned or the most rewarding experience you have had?

A: I am continually reminded of the importance of deep thought in ensuring civil and human rights. I am so grateful for this summer, as it was a small exercise in the kind of work I hope to do later, putting my training in philosophy to good, and, in my case, practical, use.

For more Metcalf reflections, check out the overview articleTo read the profiles that Career Advancement collects, click here.

UChicago Careers in Law (UCIL), a program of Career Advancement, "offers workshops, presentations, internships, and one-on-one advising, so that participants can explore various paths within the field and determine whether a career in law is right for them." UCIL offers Jeff Metcalf internships, which are paid, substantive internships exclusively for UChicago undergraduates. For more information, visit the Metcalf Internship Program website.

Metcalf Internships are available to College students throughout the academic year, and especially during the summer internship season. To learn more about currently posted Metcalf Internships, log into your Chicago Career Connection account to search for opportunities, and to make an appointment with a Career Advancement adviser.

Tagged: law, human rights, civil rights, gender, Metcalf Internship, Metcalf Memoirs