After 3 months of my internship, interning for a defense attorney in Ann Arbor, I can now reflect on the experience as a whole and its impact on my life and career aspirations. Going into the internship, I expected to get a closer look at what criminal law practice looks like and to get a firsthand opportunity to assist my attorney with his investigation of cases. My experience exceeded my expectations in many ways.
Not only was I able to see what criminal law looks like in practice, but I was able to witness other forms of law as well. As the office was filled with public defenders from other areas of law from family law to abuse and neglect to civil, I was able to learn and ask questions about various fields. This diversity contributed to a very well rounded experience and allowed me to remain open minded about my future career aspirations in law.
In terms of my experience with being a student investigator in criminal law in particular, I was able to have a direct impact on the lives of my attorney’s clients. At times, I was the first person in defense of the clients that they would speak to regarding their case. I was the direct link between the attorney and the client when the attorney had multiple cases to manage in court. I was the interviewer who made sure that important questions were asked to the clients and that the attorney was aware of all of the answers that I had received. Oftentimes, I would make jail visits to interview and discuss important information with the clients. I would make phone calls to attain important information that would fill any grey areas that we had regarding cases. And much more.
All of these experiences have transformed into life skills that I will be able to apply to any field of law or any profession that I choose to pursue in my future as a young professional. Communication skills, interpersonal skills, investigative skills, leadership skills– these are all skills that I have strengthened and they will be put to great use. I am honored to have had the opportunity to have this amazing and irreplaceable internship experience.