This summer I am interning at the Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s Office in Burlington, VT. The office is already exciting with T.J Donovan, the state’s attorney, running to be the new Attorney General in Vermont. It is an exciting time to be in this office and hear first hand how the campaign is coming along. Donovan and the other attorneys work hard to represent the state in a variety of criminal cases. Within the office is also a victims advocate department, which is where I am specifically interning. This department consists of three advocates who work closely with the victims. The advocates help the victims throughout the entire court process, by helping them better understand the process and by providing any support they may need. One major aspect that the advocates help with is compensation, usually in the form of money through restitution. The advocates deal with the paperwork throughout this process and I have been assisting them with it. The advocates ultimate goal is to support the victims while ensuring that they understand the case process.
I already feel immersed in the office and have been assisting the advocates any way necessary. My first week has been kind of slow because of judicial college week, meaning that all of the judges in the state of Vermont had to go to trainings all week. Although it was a “slow” week in court, victims still showed up in the office and were in need of assistance. I worked closely with one of the advocates who gave me many tasks and answered any questions that I had. We discussed that throughout the rest of the summer I will be monitoring court proceedings, helping with restitution claims, and assisting with keeping the case files up to date.
I am excited that I have the rest of the summer to learn more about the court system and the work that goes on in this office. I was able to obtain this internship through another internship I had last fall. Through the class “Violence Hits Home: Internship in Domestic Violence” I had an internship at The Second Step, a domestic violence organization in Newton. While interning there I established a relationship with a woman who used to work at the Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s Office, who put me in contact with some of the people from the office. I sent a cover letter and resume to them, and after a successful interview I was offered the internship with the victims advocate department. I am extremely thankful that I found this internship because I believe that I want to pursue a career in law with a focus in domestic violence.
I am also glad to be interning in Burlington because I am from Vermont and am interested in the legal processes within Vermont. Certain states might have different laws and programs for the victims, but already I have learned that Vermont has a victims compensation program, which does not exist in every state. Burlington, Vermont is an amazing place to spend the summer with the waterfront, ongoing jazz festival, and overall great charisma. It’s a gorgeous city and I am glad to be spending my time here in an internship that truly interests me.
– Ilana Abramson ’13