Tomorrow you start your internship at the Washtenaw Public Defenders Office. On your first day breathe. You should expect some challenges because you do not have your badge yet therefore, it is going to be harder to get into the building. Prepare the night before, so you aren’t rushing in the morning and filled with anxiety. You will be working with attorney Nicolette E. Hoard. She seems a little intimidating but she is really nice and confident. Along with shadowing Ms. Hoard you will meet some amazing interns. Ashley and Pernum are there as a resource; both are in law school and are very nice.
You have early mornings therefore, breakfast is your best friend. On days you forget to eat always remember there are snacks in the kitchen. Don’t forget to bring your lunch. In the mornings you start your day at the courthouse and usually don’t leave until 11am. From the courthouse you will return to the office and make any notes and necessary phone calls to wrap up that day’s docket. Afterwards, you will begin working on cases for the following days. Ms. Hoard talks fast so be prepared to write but also don’t be afraid to ask questions. She appreciates questions and the more you ask the more you learn. Ms. Hoard wants to build a relationship with you. She loves giving advice so remember to be open- minded and get as much as advice as possible.
On some days you will be tired but remember the work you are doing is helping juveniles and it’s worth being tired for. The more days you are in the office the better your experience. Work the maximum amount of days Ms. Hoard allows interns to come in and gain a lot of experience. On Mondays and Fridays Ms. Hoard doesn’t have interns work but allows you to come in and watch. Mondays are designated for trial and Fridays are sex offender dockets. If you have free time sit in on one of them you might learn a lot. Drug court is also Tuesdays evenings after work. If you can you should check it out because Nicolette represents a lot of juveniles who are in drug court.
Don’t worry about not knowing the language Ms. Hoard will teach you. Also, don’t think you are going to be fetching coffee because I guarantee you there is a lot of cases and work to be done. By the end of this internship you will feel like a real lawyer. Plus you’ll be doing cool things like transcribing videos, reading police reports, editing jury instructions, and working with clients one on one. Also, know you are going to make goals and it is okay if you don’t accomplish them because when going over your initial goals they aren’t applicable with what you do in your internship. Set new goals and revise old ones. Take this experience and let it serve as a looking glass; or an insight to what your life could be like.
Remember to take pictures! Of course you can’t take pictures inside the court but outside of the courthouse wouldn’t hurt and also take a pictures inside the office and outside. Lastly, have fun because it’s the summer right before senior year and everything is coming together even when you can’t always see the vision.
You Got This!