A Summer at the Washtenaw County Office of Public Defender #1

This is my sixth week working as a member of the Nichollette “squad” at the Washtenaw County Office of Public Defender. I am one of the many interns who is able to witness first hand what being a public defender truly entails. After 6 weeks, I can say that above all it entails a combination of caring and hard work. Public defenders, for those that don’t know, are attorneys who represent clients who are somehow unable to afford legal representation (we’ve represented many low-income individuals, children and even infants). A synonym for public defender, in my opinion, is “super hero.” I’ve witnessed my own boss, Nichollette Hoard, and countless other public defenders work tirelessly every day to not only represent and provide legal counsel to those in need of it but also to comfort individuals, to help individuals find employment, to help clients apply for welfare. In short, I’ve seen these attorneys work tirelessly to go above and beyond their official duties to help their clients succeed in life. My boss and other public defenders have inspired me to pursue a field where I can use my own expertise to dramatically affect others’ lives for the better, a field where the work I put in doesn’t merely provide me with money for expenses but also truly matters in terms of the potential impact it has on others.

Hannah Stechschulte

My name is Hannah Stechschulte and I'm a French/International Studies double-major at U of M.

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