Franceska and the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia

My internship for the spring semester is granting me the opportunity of a lifetime. I am interning with the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, in the Public Interest Division.  I assist attorneys with legal research, and attend witness deposition. The more I work in the office, the more I want to achieve my goals. I am currently working with a paralegal specialist and an Assistant Attorney General (AAG) on a case. The attorneys do not only assign you a specific task but they take you under their tutelage. They tell you everything you need to know. They explain in details particular laws regarding particular cases. They also give pointers to undergraduates regarding law school. They advise us about how to succeed in Law school and on the LSAT. Interning at OAG has already broadened my view as far as what I want to do after graduation.

Being scheduled to work from 8:45 am every Tuesdays through Fridays, I am usually the first of all interns to arrive at work. Therefore, I come to work to an empty office; I usually use that time to check my emails from work, and my home institution. Most attorneys do not arrive at the office ‘til 9:30am; hence, the office is not busy until 10am. My supervisor, who is by far the best supervisor I have had, usually comes to work at 10am which is why I often used to question why was I scheduled to be in the office so early if there is nothing to work on before 10am. However, ever since I have been assigned to work on Privilege Logs, I always have something to do as soon as I arrive at work. Privilege Log is a document that contains and describes other documents to be withheld from production in a lawsuit. I have been assigned to more than 5,000 documents to describe in Privilege Log. In order to describe a document, I must read its contents and type the reason why this should be kept in the Privilege Log and from production. The work itself is not difficult; I actually work at a fast pace, finishing about 300 a day. However, to spend eight hours staring at the monitor, at the same page and repeating the same process every time can surely drain the life out of you. I have been working on Privilege Logs for nearly 2 weeks because more has been added to the list.

Time away from my desk is always cherished because it means I have a mini break from Privilege Logs. On certain days, I would have to attend a witness deposition. Choosing to attend a witness deposition instead of working on Privilege Logs can be tricky because sometimes the deposition can be even more boring than Privilege Logs. Other times, it can be pretty interesting and entertaining, especially when both attorneys start making slick comments about each other. Another way I distract myself from Privilege Logs is by attending hearings in the Federal Court. My first time there was quite an experience. The courtroom is far bigger and more impressive than I expected. ; it was bigger than expected, very formal. In a Federal Court, I learned that others can attend a private hearing; however, they will not be able to hear any interactions between the judge and the attorneys because they would turn on the “White Noise”. Others can watch the hearing but will not be able to hear anything because it is private. I found it fascinating because only half of the room could hear the attorneys and the judge; everyone else is just watching moving, silent bodies. Whenever an attorney from the Public Interest Division has a motion hearing in the Federal Court, the other interns and I would gladly leave our desk to attend. The interns and I usually take our lunch break together. The four of us always walk to Chinatown which is few blocks from our office to grab lunch and socialize; then, we walk back to our office and spend the rest of the day behind our desk until instructed otherwise.

Besides spending my entire day working on Privilege Logs, I often interact with the attorneys and the paralegal specialists in the office. Many of them have advised me about Law School and the LSATs. Given that I am one of the couple undergraduates in the office, I often spend my lunch break with 3rd year law students, which has been very beneficial to me because I get to learn what I need to know about law school from students who are on their way out. After speaking to many attorneys, paralegal specialists and current law students, I have officially decided to take a break after college graduation in order to get work experiences in the field as a paralegal. Working in the office and being in the presence of many successful attorneys have helped me make this decision that would benefit both my career and my chances of getting into a law school of my choice.