I spent the summer working in the housing unit at Neighborhood Legal Services Program (NLSP) in Washington, D.C. NLSP is a civil legal services organization that represents low-income residents in the District of Columbia.
Our aim this summer was to preserve affordable housing, improve living conditions in private and public housing, and prevent the eviction of our clients. I worked on many projects, including a large litigation effort against a housing developer to achieve widespread injunctive relief at their properties that are engaging in source of income discrimination, as well as a project to stop illegal self-help eviction efforts by landlords during the COVID-19 eviction moratorium this summer. This experience taught me the importance of safe and stable housing for everyone, and I intend to continue to advocate for that right in the future.
I spent my summer with the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio gaining valuable, hands-on experience in the appellate unit.
I drafted entire briefs, assisted with motions for compassionate release appeals, and drafted memos for drug trafficking charges, motions to vacate and Chapter 13 bankruptcy issues. I also researched single issues including special assessment sentence implementation, attended virtual arraignments, detention hearings and also took a virtual tour of the United States Post Office.
This was a great opportunity to work in a courtroom setting and gain more extensive litigation experience. It also allowed me to compare the work environments of law firms to that of a prosecutor's office. Even though my externship was virtual, I learned a lot and still had the opportunity to interact with different AUSAs and even judges. It allowed me to put many of the things I learned in my criminal law, evidence and appellate practice courses to use.
This summer, I had the honor of working at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office (SCDAO) in Boston, Massachusetts. I was fortunate enough to become licensed under Massachusetts’s Student Practitioner Rule, allowing me to stand on several cases throughout the summer. Most of my time in the office was spent either in the courtroom—mostly on arraignments—or filling out discovery requests and writing up pre-trial motions.
It was an interesting experience because, due to COVID-19, each staff member (including externs) was only in the office every other week, and the other weeks we worked from home. My time working from home was spent doing a lot of research for those pre-trial motions, organizing files to prepare for court the next week, and going through and reviewing discovery. It was a lot of work, but it was an incredibly educational experience that I will forever be grateful for.
This summer certainly wasn’t what anybody was expecting, and at times it was filled with a lot of uncertainty, but the people at SCDAO were amazing to work with and made sure I got the best possible experience I could have asked for.