Early Previews Wrong, Legal Internships In College

September 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

thefigureskatinglawyer’s preview is a little off and he finds out on the eve of the competition. The Denver Pioneers do not have any entries in the Golden Bear Skate. ): Brandon Belt-levels of awkward.

Now he just feels like this girl.

Oh, and this girl.

That’s how hard those wrong predictions have hit me in the face.

Hope to see a large Cal/Bay Area contingent at the rink tomorrow.


All things law school have kind of gone to the side now that LSAT studying is reaching the home stretch and the test comes up on October 6th. After that test, yours truly needs to look for a job to help pay off student loans and get some work experience for future jobs to get that work experience needed for future jobs.

Many of those opportunities come up while you are a college student.

Really, PSY? I, too can dress classy, dance cheesy and get work experience? No way!

Whether you work in a local assembly person’s office, helping out non-profit organizations like the Asian Law Caucus, assisting attorneys as a clerk or legal assistant or helping out in the courts, you can get a leg up on that work experience. Also, you get an advanced preview of what you would possibly be doing for the foreseeable future, if you do follow through on the whole law school/lawyer route.

This specific internship thefigureskatinglawyer will elaborate on is located at the Alameda County Superior Court, a few blocks away from the 12th Street/Oakland Civic Center BART station, the 14th Street/Broadway AC Transit 1R stop and the 8th Street/Broadway Starbucks. This is an unpaid legal internship for the Alameda County Pretrial Services Division.

What Does This Opportunity Entail?

Glad you asked. Whether you choose to work 9-5 two business days a week during the summer or one full business day during the academic year, you will work with Pretrial Services Division carrying out tasks in regards to the own recognizance program. The roots of the OR program stretch back to the Manhattan Bail Project, which determined that defendants who do not have enough money to pay for bail stay in New York prisons longer, leading to overcrowding.

The OR program in place at the Wiley W. Manuel Superior Court requires the Division to interview defendants who may qualify to be released on their own recognizance and possibly fight their cases while not incarcerated. After conducting those interviews, interns and supervisors alike will follow up with reference calls to verify the defendants’ interview information and their ties to the Bay Area community. After, the Division follows up on the defendants’ and attorneys’ bail/OR motions. Finally if the defendants are granted release on their own recognizance, the Division follows up with phone reminders of their upcoming case dates so the defendants to not miss a court date, have their OR release revoked and be sent back to prison for the remaining duration of their cases.

During the internship, the interns will be supervised by Division manager Stephanie James-Marshall and PTS specialists Bryan Wong and Margarita Arroyo.

Pros and Cons

If you are selected to work the summer or school-year edition of the internship, the pros generally outweigh the cons working at Wiley W. Manuel.

Pros (summer):

  • Being in the office and in the courts two days a week help you pick routines and limit mistakes fast because you’re doing routines over and over again.
  • The networking happens a lot faster since defense attorneys, public defenders, private attorneys, judges and sheriff’s deputies see you more often in the week.

Pros (academic):

  • Your summer is a little more free, especially if you had summer school. Two full days of work might have made it harder to hang out with the friends who have more free time on their hands than you do.
  • You only have to make one trip to Downtown Oakland a week (and pay less for parking if you drive).

Pros (in general):

  • Great work experience and networking connections.
  • Field trip to Santa Rita Jail.
  • Extended time in courts, getting a feel of what the courts and criminal law are like if you have not gone to court before.
  • Good food around Downtown Oakland.

Cons (general)

  • The supervisors are generally flexible about schedules but they would like to see interns work the morning and afternoon shifts of the same day. That could work against Berkeley students who have already made their academic schedules on Telebears, not realizing how being at work on one whole day of the week messes up a lot of class schedule possibilities. You either force yourself to be a full-time student with Tuesday/Thursdays or Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays completely booked.
  • The internship is unpaid.
  • Learning curve is still pretty steep because there are many things to pick up.

How Does One Find Out About When to Apply?

If you are not acquainted with former interns and current intern managers Katie Wellman and Tyler Hill, email Legal Studies adviser Lauri La Pointe’s (lauri@berkeley.edu) listserve to subscribe your email address to the listserve. The announcement will generally come in the spring, giving out the times to apply and the application questions. Answers to the application questions are required to be considered for the internship. Berkeley sophomores, juniors and seniors are considered for the positions, although no intern can work both during the summer and school-year.

Those selected for interviews will go to the Career Center on Bancroft Avenue in the middle of the spring semester to have their interviews done with an intern manager and Ms. James-Marshall.

Best of luck on securing this great internship opportunity, dressing classy and dancing cheesy.



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