After my jail visit this week, the next few days consisted of office work and going to yet another new court, much to my delight. On Thursday, we were at 14B District Court in Ypsilanti, and we were in the court of Judge Charles Pope. Although we were only there for the morning, I feel as though I saw a complete court experience in a way I hadn’t previously at 14A or 14A-1. The reason why is simple: human interest.
Judge Pope is interested in the people who come before him in a way that I hadn’t seen any other judge, referee, or magistrate behavior before. If someone had a request based on job schedules or finances when they came up to plea, Judge Pope would ask them “Where do you work?” and, perhaps, “How did you get that job?”. He takes an active interest in those who come before him, and also reads each probation order with vigor. He doesn’t let himself fall into monotone after the tenth case — he stays animated so that people listen to the orders that they’re being given. Every ruling he gave was fair, and I never felt that he was degrading or overly paternal. It’s rare to find a judge who seems level headed and rational while still maintaining a degree of fairness, and I appreciated it greatly.
This coming week is my last week at the Office of the Public Defender! I will only actually be in the office one day, and the rest of it I’ll be in court one place or another. I’m excited to write a post-internship reflection and try and get my thoughts about my future in order. I’ve been extremely back-and-forth with how I want to proceed with my future in the coming months, and I’m ready to organize them further for the blog! Who knows, they might help someone else who’s struggling as to whether or not they should go to law school someday.