Grant Recipient: Class of 2011
Organization: San Francisco Office of the Public Defender
Location: San Francisco, CA
As an intern at the San Francisco Office of the Public Defender, I help an overstretched and under-funded organization provide legal services to indigent clients. I spend the majority of my time writing subpoenas, motions, and social histories, requesting records, tracking down surveillance footage, meeting with clients, summarizing police reports, attending training sessions, and watching trials. In contrast with previous summers spent opening envelopes and printing labels, in the past weeks I have independently written entire pitchess motions and social histories, visited high security jails to discuss medical records with clients on trial for murder, watched assault, rape, and narcotics trials, protested Mayor Newsom’s proposed budget cuts on the steps of city hall, and attended training sessions offering crash courses in jury selection, cross-examination tactics, lie-detection, and the general criminal process. Thanks to the generosity of the Wesleyan Summer Experience Grant, without which I could not have accepted an unpaid internship position this summer, I have gained a comprehensive picture of life as a trial attorney, I have improved my computer, research, and writing skills, strengthened my resume, expanded my understanding of the justice system and my insight into the class system, and replaced my dread of the 9:00-5:00 with anticipation for future exploration of career opportunities.