United States Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey, Newark, NJ
This summer I interned at the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) District of New Jersey. The office is responsible for the prosecution of federal criminal statutes for all of New Jersey. Additionally, the office is also in charge of defending agencies of the United States through its Civil Division. Working at the USAO provided me with the incredible opportunity to gain knowledge of the legal field. It was an extremely rewarding experience that gave me valuable insight into how Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSA) research and prepare for trials.
Throughout the summer, I was assigned to two main tasks. The first was to lead the interview process as well as author profiles for Reentry Court. Reentry Court focuses on individuals who pose a significant risk of violating the conditions of supervision after being released from incarceration. The program takes about one year and works to assist these individuals in reentering society with a specific focus on attaining employment and housing. My responsibilities within Reentry Court were to reach out to successful graduates of the program and interview them as a check-in to the process. I was able to talk to inspiring, wonderful people who had truly turned their lives around for the better. After the interviews, I wrote profiles for every candidate which will be posted on the Reentry Court website to showcase the success of the program.
My second main task consisted of researching and organizing data sent from the State of New Jersey surrounding an ongoing Civil Rights investigation. I was able to work directly with an AUSA brainstorming the best ways to dissect the massive amounts of information received. I also had the opportunity to observe witness interviews. Although they were conducted remotely, it was very valuable to listen, learn, and see how the information from those meetings was used. It was awesome to be given the opportunity to have firsthand experience with an ongoing investigation and learn from an AUSA.
Working at the USAO was a wonderful experience. Not only was my supervisor a great mentor and resource, but she also gave me the opportunity to take on a variety of important tasks as well as work with attorneys who focus on different areas of law. I never expected to gain experience with social work as I did with Reentry Court but I really enjoyed it.
In terms of my future plans, I am still extremely interested in a career in law, but I also want to keep my options open. This internship gave me insight into both the intellectual as well as the emotional side of law and how taxing it can be. Although I thoroughly enjoyed being able to help others, it can be emotionally draining at times. Overall, my experience at the USAO was extremely worthwhile and maybe one day in the future I will be working as an AUSA.