Lilly B.

January 6th – January 27th (9.5 hours) –  One meaningful experience I have recently had in the internship program is an opportunity to apply for a paid position as a student trainee clerk in the criminal division of the United States Attorney’s Office. My mentor informed me about the opening of the position and offered to recommend me. I feel honored that she believes I am a good fit for the position even if I do not get the job and is willing to recommend me. The job requires me to do almost all of the things I already do as an intern. I feel that this is such a great opportunity for me to get my foot in the door and to network, especially if I attend the UofA for college. However, if they are looking to hire before I finish high school, it would conflict with my school schedule.

An industry specific soft skill or technical skill that I have developed from my internship is filing. i figured out the filing system at the United States Attorney’s Office on my own, but did have questions various people I was working with would answer. during this reflection period, I met a new legal assistant in the office. I was tasked to help her file case information for a few of the different Assistant United States Attorneys that she is assigned to. She first gave me a stack of documents that were to be alphabetized by defendants last names. This was a little tricky to find depending on what kind of document it was- they varied from printed out emails to warrants and etc. I then would take the alphabetized file to the designated attorney’s office and re-alphabetize it into their file cabinets. This was a cool way to get to know more attorneys in the office and I got to file for an attorney I had done some filing for in the past.

I believe that filing is a skill that will serve to be beneficial to me in the future. I intend to pursue a career in the field of law but would like experience working in a law firm or something related to the field while I am in college. I believe I will be able to use this skill wherever I work but specifically law-related whether I become a legal assistant, paid intern, paralegal, etc. I also believe this skill will be useful for when I do become an attorney so that I can file and organize my own cases and documents. This is important to me because it contributes to the ability to be self-sufficient which I believe is necessary. This also builds organizational skills which can be useful in all aspects of life.

ATF – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is a federal law enforcement organization within the United States Department of Justice. I was in a meeting with my mentor and we were talking about the security at the entrance of the building. She mentioned that most of them came from “ATF” which was an abbreviation I was not familiar with, but is commonly used.

November 12th – January 5th (9.83 hours) -I spent majority of my winter hours completing mandatory training. I had to watch training videos about proper office conduct and security. The training went over what is allowed and not allowed for things such as confidential and classified information which was very interesting and useful. Each training disc was about 5 hours long, which was the not so fun part. I also had fun completing my site visit with Mrs. Wahl. Showing her around the office was a lot of fun, especially talking to the receptionist, Ms. Jean.

My mentor had asked me to complete a simple task of making copies of my intern evaluation. She had previously already showed me how to use the copy machine. he went through it with me previously, step by step. I forgot how to use it. There are specific steps required for this particular copy machine that require a log in code using my Identification badge. I was a little embarrassed to ask her for help again, because it is a pretty simple/basic task.

I was able to gather the necessary information by asking for help. But I did not go to my mentor. I asked one of the legal assistants who I am familiar with to show me. She walked me through it step by step, again. I now feel competent and able to use the copy machine. This is something I feel will be useful for me in the future. I am glad I am now comfortable making copies.

I was in a meeting with my mentor and she mentioned the word injunction in relation to a case. I asked my mentor what it meant and looked up the definition in relation to law. Injunction is defined as a judicial remedy to prohibit a party from taking an action or doing something.  

October 29th – November 11th (9 hours) – I went in to my internship on Halloween and they were having a Halloween/costume party at the office. It was really cool to see everyone out of character and in a much more casual mood. I worked on pulling files with some of the other interns. We learned about how everything in the office is filed and what files go where for what reason. We finished up the day by watching court and I got the opportunity to ask my mentor about the different upcoming cases there will be. Scott Warren’s trial will be very interesting to watch next week.

My attendance and punctuality has been as good as it could be. I always go to my internship site on time, and if I am late, I will let my mentor know in advance. I did get really sick a couple times this semester but I have never missed my internship unless necessary. I established a set schedule with my mentor from the start of my internship. I have had to make adjustments to my schedule as needed. My mentor and I communicate often and have had no issues with my schedule or my attendance.

It has been a little challenging to balance school, job, internship, extra curricular, and homework. But I feel like I have been juggling it all successfully. I need to work on time management and making sure to put everything in my digital calendar. I also feel like I need to work on my prioritization for second semester. I need to focus on meeting deadlines timely, and prioritizing what I need to get done first. I need to focus on prioritizing school over my social life and start getting ahead, not behind.

The word Admissible. This word is used to describe evidence that may be considered by a jury or judge in civil and criminal cases. I heard this term being used when I was observing court.

October 15th – October 28th (3.25 hours) – I only interned at my site for one day during this reflection log period. I was tasked with helping out the border patrol office. I set up a small desk and filed paperwork. I also worked on stamping folders (cases) and fastening them. I learned a little bit more about how the border patrol ties into immigration law and how they impact each other. I would say about 70% of the cases everyday are related to immigration and the border patrol.

My mentor was out of town for one of the days i was interning so she sent out an email in the office to see if anyone needed any help or had any projects for me to work on. AUSA Christine Melton reached out to me and sought me out at my desk. We spoke in person and professionally. She gave me instructions and the opportunity to help out with my first hands on case. She gave me three CDs and told me to go through them and catalog them. It was easier than I had expected because she had already started so I got to see real examples. It was a really cool task and I love meeting new people in the office and making new connections.

At my internship site, my desk is next to a handful of other interns. Often times, if we are there for the same time periods, we will talk and get to know each other. Most of them are much older than me and I love asking them questions about the different routes they are taking in life. Potentially, they are all where I see myself in a few years. They are college students pursuing different career paths related to law. Other than fellow interns, I do interact with other people in the office socially, just not very often since the setting is much more professional.

Suppression of evidence is a legal term used to describe the act of preventing evidence from being shown in a trial or a court of law. This can be lawful or unlawful and can happen for several different reasons. I heard this term being used when I was observing court.

October 1st – October 14th (6.75 hours) – I was allowed into a judge’s chambers for the first time which was very exciting. Everything was very formal and it was my first time personally meeting a judge. I got to watch an FBI agent obtain a search warrant and “swear in”. I also had the opportunity to learn about the different specific procedures one needs to do and go through in order to obtain a search warrant. I am not allowed to discuss the specific circumstances of the search warrant which in itself is very exciting. I am excited to learn more behind the scenes stuff that attorneys do, that we don’t often see or learn about outside of a law firm or organization, the things we don’t see on TV.

When observing court, often times I observe different kinds of judges. A magistrate judge is a judge who holds or conducts court and enforces the law. Minor offenses are often brought to magistrate judges.

September 17th – September 30th (24.25 hours) – I got to help hands on on my first case at my internship site. There was an armed robbery at the Pyramid Federal Credit Union across from Tucson Mall. An 83 year old man robbed the bank at gun point but first stashed his wheelchair at the Sears across the street. After robbing the bank, he went to Tucson mall for 5 hours. I got to go through and catalog all of the surveillance videos of him at the bank, the mall, and in Sears. I also got to listen to and catalog all of the Tucson Police Department recordings (witness and victim interviews) as well as the defendants interviews. It was super exciting and I can’t wait to do more.

The method of communication I use most at my internship site is in-person conversation. This is most appropriate because I am not allowed to take any work home or use my work email outside of the office. Thus, when it comes to things related to the office and my intern duties, I am in the office, walking distance from everyone I work with. Although most of the communication is in-person, we still email and call within the office. My mentor and I text often because she sometimes works at the FBI building and it is a quick way to let each other know something with short notice. I feel comfortable communicating in-person, through phone and email with the people I work with at my internship site.

Before reaching out to my mentor or other people in the office, I first think about what I want to convey. Then I figure out how to convey my message respectfully and professionally. I usually follow their cues. For example, I would send a smiley face if one was sent to me first. I address people as “Mr. or Ms./Mrs.” unless told to do otherwise in order to maintain respect. I try not to ask questions to things I can figure out on my own.

I learned the term Affidavit when my mentor was discussing a case with me. An affidavit is a written statement used as evidence in court. My mentor was discussing different evidence that was is being used in a specific case when the term was brought up.

September 3rd – September 16th (12.68 hours) – I got to sit in and observe court on some very interesting cases these past two weeks. The first was in regard to two Somali Refugees that contacted an undercover FBI agent and attempted to join ISIS by selling their cars and buying plane tickets to Egypt. Another case was the prosecution of a Bosnian war criminal who is currently being tried for immigration fraud. I got to read witness testimonies against him that were heart breaking. I try to separate my personal feeling and beliefs from this internship which can be difficult at times. I also got my first mundane task on 09/05 where I got to organize folders and expandos for one of the other attorneys in the office (not my mentor) and I got to alphabetize and organize by date different law clerk files and applications. I got to see some very interesting and inspiring resumes. Lastly, I got to watch a trial on an assault on a corrections officer by inmate.

Deliberating. When the jury is deliberating, they are deciding whether or not a defendant is guilty or what conclusion they have reached based on evidence presented. I heard this word when I was observing court, specifically the trial of an assault on a corrections officer. The jury left the courtroom and I was told the jury was deliberating.

August 20th – September 2nd (6.67 hours) -I  have really enjoyed my time so far at my internship site. The office is really big, and there are so many people I have yet to meet. I have been given a desk and a government email which I am very excited about. I got to sit in a court room and watch someone be tried which was amazing. The jury came out and unanimously agreed the defendant was guilty. I was a little surprised that the defendant was sentenced to a year and he was happy about it. I later found out he was facing a much bigger sentence. I learned some new legal terms and have already gained a little more knowledge about the judicial system.

Professional attire is a must. Everyone has a job and they do it. No one crosses boundaries in the office and they all keep things professional. Fridays are more casual and they do have office parties often to keep peoples spirits up. Everyone works long hours. They collect rubber ducks, which I love.

I think working at the office suits me so far. I am outgoing enough to reach out to people. I am able to make connections and meet really interesting people in the field. I keep learning new careers in the field that I did not know existed. I feel like I am meeting their expectations. I have been given things to do while I am there and I have effectively completed those tasks. I came across the term subpoena.

A subpoena is something that orders someone to court. It can be used in a way that lets someone know they are being summoned to court. I have heard this term around the office several times and I looked it up because I was curious. 

August 6th – August 19th (0 hours) – I do not start my internship until later this week, and I am super excited and nervous. I feel like this program has definitely helped prepare me for this experience and I feel extremely lucky to have been given this opportunity to work so closely for a year, in my dream career. I am working on my organization skills to help me figure out my priorities and my digital calendar has been a tremendous help. I am considering taking a leave of absence from my job temporarily to focus on my internship while balancing my school related extracurricular activities and school course load. I am excited to be in a law office and I am even excited about the mundane tasks such as filing papers, scanning and printing, etc. This experience will help further my understanding of the professional world and I can’t wait!

July 18th – August 5th (0 hours) – A meaningful experience I have gained in our training and search for an internship that has also helped me grow, is learning how to properly act in a professional setting, how to dress, and what not to do. This program has given me the opportunity of a lifetime, a chance to work in the United States Attorney’s Office which is a dream come true. I am greatly looking forward to experiencing and seeing first hand what the attorneys do, behind the scene processes, and to further my understanding of the judicial system.

I hope to further my knowledge on what lawyers do behind the scenes and to further my understanding of the judicial system from my mentor. I hope to work on my problem solving and learn more about the professional world from Mrs. Wahl and what I can do to better myself in that aspect.

I have learned the importance of scheduling myself accordingly and not overbooking, I have learned how to improve my professional manners and how to manage my time better especially with my homework load as a student.