My internship experience is about to shift a bit from the past few weeks! While I spent the first part of my internship with an Assistant Public Defender who works on state misdemeanor cases, I will be changing my work to juvenile cases, including abuse and neglect. This experience is going to include home visits and appearing in juvenile court, a very different experience from the misdemeanor court in Chelsea, Michigan.
I didn’t ask to be moved, but the Assistant Public Defender that I’ve been working with is going on vacation for two weeks. The other divisions that I could have moved to would have been more misdemeanors or felonies, both of which had enough other interns. Felony work was actually my first choice, but the student attorneys who are law students tend to get priority to those positions. They’re able to practice and work on those cases in a hands-on way that undergraduate students aren’t able to, and it’s more beneficial to all parties involved if the bodies in the room are actually able to contribute. Working on felonies would have been more of a spectator sport for me at this point, and I’m ultimately fine with going where I’m needed.
However, I’m interested to see how working with and on behalf of juveniles is different from general misdemeanor cases. While I’m excited to try something new, I also feel like I just got used to how my first attorney ran things in court. I just got to the point of conducting client interviews over the phone, getting files started if someone requested representation in court, etc. It was nice to feel like I was getting the hang of something and settling in, but I suppose growth and a healthy change of pace often go together. I’m excited to see how this coming week goes.