I have decided to spend the summer of 2017 in Ann Arbor interning at the Washtenaw County Public Defender’s Office. As a rising junior I considered this to be the prime opportunity to take my first step into the field of law. By working with the assigned attorney and law students I would have much support and resources for guidance. Not only that but this particular internship stood out from the others as I would be taking action in settling cases by visiting clients at jail, sending out subpoena forms, participating in confidential conference calls, observing weekly court trials, as well as reading police reports to familiarize myself with the details of the cases. It certainly offered many opportunities that I would not have had anywhere else. After attending orientation and hearing about the overview of the department as well as meeting my team of attorney and interns, I began working with my own Public Defender badge around my neck.
After one full week spent at the office, I have already had my fair share of challenges going through legal terms and abbreviations. Looking up basic terms such as bench warrant, CSC (Criminal Sexual Conduct), arraignment, and HYTA (Holmes Youthful Trainee Act). Although other interns seemed to have a good understanding of all of the terminology, I was busy Googling the terms. Everything from printing to filing to logging on to a computer was difficult as it was all new. But within those 7 days, I have started to grasp onto the way things are done around the office. Day by day things have been running more smoothly than the day before and I began to develop more interest in our designated cases. Having recently read multiple files (one on murder), I was constantly taken aback by how young both the defendants and victims were. Having spent most of my time in a bubble consisting of U of M students and staff, through this internship I am gradually beginning to learn about other parts of Michigan. So far it has been an eye-opening experience into adulthood and I am looking forward to going into office to see what’s in store for me.