Hello world! This is my first blog post of the summer. My internship is with the Office of the Public Defender in Washtenaw County, and I’m working under one of the Assistant Public Defenders, Ms. Miriam Perry. Although I started a few weeks ago, I’ve been busy acclimating to the changing pace of being in court versus being in the office. So far, I’ve really been enjoying it. I know four or five people who have also had this internship while they try and figure out their futures, and everyone gave it glowing recommendations. I was a little apprehensive to start, primarily because I (a) wasn’t sure that I wanted to go to law school at all and (b) I knew little more than the average person about the legal system. However, I’ve realized that (a) is the entire reason I’m here and (b) is just the expected learning curve that’s common with any new experience.
Last summer, I also interned with an LSA Opportunity Hub Internship Scholarship, and I had a very different experience than the one that I’m having now. I went into my internship thinking that I was going to confirm that I was on the right career path, and found that theory disproved. I left the summer at a loss of what to do next, and decided to keep operating with an open and hopeful mind. This internship with the WCOPD has given me an introduction to law practice that makes me want more.
I’ve been in court three days now, and my fourth will be tomorrow. We work in the court in Chelsea that handles misdemeanors, and I’ve found that I prefer the days with busier dockets. When we’re not in court, we’re in the office prepping dockets and contacting clients to make sure they’re following probation or adequately prepared for an upcoming court date. I like when things are moving in and out, keeping us busy. I’ve seen trials, given paperwork to defendants in custody, conducted a client interviews and prepped case files. A lot of what I’m doing is paperwork and organization, but I love having a level of involvement in the actual proceedings. Some of the other Student Attorneys are law students, and they have the opportunity to present cases and go on the record. Since I’m still in undergrad, I’m not quite there yet, but I’m looking forward to the day when I can officially state my name for the record on behalf of someone else.