Going into my internship, I did not know what to expect. I had plenty of previous experience in the world of private law offices and even nonprofit organizations, but public office was an area that I had yet to work in. As I write this blog post during the final week of my internship, I can say that I am grateful to have finally had an experience in the realm of public office.
Interning at the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office (MDAO) this summer taught me valuable lessons about the world of work, especially the importance of communication and taking initiative. While a virtual work setting is not always ideal, working under these circumstances pushed me to make the most out of my internship. If I hadn’t utilized my communication skills or taken initiative to ask for meetings with different people in the office such as my supervisor, the head of the cold case unit, I would have missed out on valuable information and lessons. From meetings like the one-on-one phone call I had with my supervisor, I gained valuable tips on going to law school as well as how to successfully enter the world of social justice work. My supervisor talked to me about the importance of prioritizing loving your work over any other variable when it comes to employment. This reminded me that social justice work is something I am passionate about pursuing in the future because it is the type of work that will ensure I love what I do every day once I embark on my professional career.
One of the best parts about interning at the MDAO was that they made it clear to us interns that our work was extremely beneficial to the office. While digitizing, organizing, and going through unsolved cases may seem like a small task, it was an extremely important one that I was responsible for this summer. This task allowed me to have an impact on the MDAO because the cold case unit will now be able to proceed with solving these cases and providing the families of victims with the clarity they have been waiting for. Here is a link to an article published by the National Institute of Justice explaining how important it is to have enough tools to solve a cold case.
I try hard to remind myself that each experience I have is a steppingstone leading me to my final goal of becoming a lawyer. Looking back at the start of my internship, I would remind myself of just that. Working as an intern can be frustrating as you often wish you had more responsibility or more diversity of tasks. As I went through the months of the MDAO internship program, I came to remember that these experiences are the ones that will lead me to conquer big tasks and assume leadership positions in the future. To anyone looking to pursue an internship or career in the legal field: go for it! Throughout the many interviews I did that led me to this summer’s internship, I was constantly told that experience is one of the most important things. Go out and get that experience now because each experience you have will allow you to achieve your bigger goals!