My internship this summer is at the Washtenaw County Public Defenders Office. Myself and dozens of other potential future attorneys have been assigned to the different Public Defenders in their respective fields. Beginning the experience with orientation I got a quick rundown of the purpose of the public defenders role in our community and how they get that job done. The parameters of the internship were described in greater detail which revealed how hands on and instructive this experience would be. As a Student Attorney I am interviewing clients, writing reports, working in court with the lead attorneys and much more.
In my first actual day of interning I was given a taste of how court proceedings work and got to make a home visit to a client. Being to sit front and center with the acting attorney in court is very exciting for someone working towards a career as one. Being able to see how the system works and the practices and habits which can provide favorable outcomes is immensely valuable in this early stage. The home visits and interviews with clients is also a very interesting part of the job that I am excited to do more of. Making a lot of human connections and working with clients to maximize the chance of a positive outcome is something that is quickly becoming very important to me. Not only can this help to the clients more, but it improves my interpersonal and service skills as well.
Looking forward in the internship, I am most excited to begin to get into a groove with the attorney’s courtroom schedule so I can take a more active role in assisting in these proceedings. Once I am up and running with their schedule, I can research topics, cases, and legal statutes in order to provide more key information regarding the client or case at hand. As well, once I have a grasp on the case load and am familiar, I can start assisting more so in actual courtroom actions and proceedings. Having key documents or information on hand for the attorney will help me to get used to the pace that comes with being an attorney. I am excited to dive into all these things and begin to make a real impact on the massive workload that Public Defenders deal with on a daily basis.