The first three weeks of my internship have been a whirlwind. I finally see why they say internships are necessary, because no classroom could ever teach me the things that I have learned already. My time so far as an intern for the defending attorneys at 36th district court have been, exciting, fast paced, and full of new terminology. If I could sum up everything I learned in these first few weeks it would be; it’s not worth it. What I mean by that is that no crime is ever worth the court process, the fees, the tears, and the stress. I’ve seen a total of about twenty people sent to jail in my short time working.
In this first blog I will describe my not-so typical day at work. Well, My days start at 8 am in downtown Detroit at the court house. I pay for parking, and go in through the employee entrance and speak to all the security guards who escort me to and from my car everyday. I then report to court room 438 where the madness begins, in the room my team of attorneys are running everywhere making calls, talking with clients and clerks, and speaking with each other, all while making sure I am comfortable. I choose a person to shadow and my day begins. We start with interviewing the walk-in’s to see what part of the process they are in i.e. adjournment, pre-trial, or tail, and we see if they will take any pleas offered, and make sure they have set up a payment plan, and proceed to get any other information that will help their character during their case. I love this part of my day because I get to interact with actual people and see situations in real life. The second week, they let me interview the jailers, the people brought over from the jail that are in holding cells in the back, this was kind of terrifying at first because, the male and some females would try and flirt and scream at me, but It helped me perfect my poker face, fast. Of course, with the jailer interviews I was escorted by police officers and a senior attorney on the team. This internship is extremely fast paced and put me in real situations, so everyday is exciting and new.
After the client interviews, the trials begin, during this part of the day I write up “advice of rights” forms and other materials that are sensitive to the trial. After the first docket is done, the team and I head to the courtroom upstairs and start the process all over again. Again, everyday is different but, these are the basics of what happens. Sometimes we make phone calls for the jailers to collect money for bail from their relatives, other times we are running around like crazy to collect missing files and paperwork. When we end the day I debrief with one of the attorneys and ask any questions that I had during the day, or just talk about the events of the day.