Post 1: Seeking Justice in Worcester County

My name is Andrea Bolduc and I am a rising sophomore studying Politics, Legal Studies, and French Language. This summer I am interning at the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office in Worcester, Massachusetts. I am working in Community Outreach and have also been paired with an Assistant District Attorney.

The DA’s Office has two missions: to seek justice for the victims of crime through fair prosecutions and to prevent crime through community outreach programs.  The DA’s Office prosecutes felonies and

This internship is especially important to me because it is a way to serve my community in Worcester County.

misdemeanors, such as arson, homicide, domestic and/or child abuse, gang activities, and financial crimes. Several specialized units, led by Assistant District Attorneys (ADAs), work together to prosecute cases in court.  The DA’s Office is active in community outreach programs and offers quality victim advocacy efforts.

 

 

For community outreach, myself and several other interns contact schools and police stations across Worcester County and try to establish outreach programs for all age groups on topics ranging from bullying prevention to the opioid crisis. This past week, we traveled to a local Boys and Girls Club and helped the Outreach Coordinator give a presentation on bullying prevention and cyber safety to several groups of kids.

It was interesting to see how, even though the message (follow the Golden Rule, telling a trusted adult is not the same thing as being a “tattle-tale”, never disclose even seemingly insignificant information about yourself to a stranger online, etc.) was consistent across age groups, the delivery evolved as the audience matured. This demonstrates the importance of reaching out to community members of all ages as a means of prevention. By establishing a positive relationship with the community, the DA’s Office is able to equip even the youngest child with the tools to keep themselves and others safe.

The exterior of the Worcester County District Courthouse.

 

I also serve as an aid to an Assistant District Attorney. Their job is to prosecute cases on behalf of the Commonwealth. My ADA focuses on cases that appear in the Central District Court. Each ADA will be assigned around 200 cases per year, so there is a lot of work to do to prepare for each one. I assist my ADA in pretrial preparation, where I help them organize discovery (police reports on the incident, relevant documents and information about the defendant), and evidence. Because a fair trial is essential, the prosecution and defense are in constant communication with one another during preparation. If my ADA doesn’t need any specific task done at the moment, I can assist other ADAs, which means that I have been getting exposure to a breadth of different cases. I can also observe different proceedings around the courthouse, such as arraignments, trials, and sentencing. The amount of work that goes into ensuring a fair trial for each defendant, while also maintaining a commitment to the laws that make our society safer, has given me a greater appreciation for our legal system.

My goal for this internship is to develop an understanding of how the law works in practice. By helping lawyers conduct research for their specific cases, it is my hope that my time at the DA’s Office will also provide me with some direction in terms of the careers through which to pursue my interests. I have always wanted to be involved in an actual case, and this summer I have the opportunity to immerse myself in legal research and trial preparation.

Stay up to date with the work that the DA’s Office does in the community and read up on cases currently making their way through the court!

 

 

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