My name is Justin Blankenship and I am a third-year law student at the University of Kentucky. I grew up in a small town in Virginia, and completed my undergraduate studies at Radford University where I majored in Political Science. After graduating, I moved to Washington, D.C. where I worked as a political consultant for a tech start-up. I eventually joined Teach for America and was placed in Harlan, Kentucky. There I taught middle school English, directed the high school theatre program, and coached baseball. I am interested in pursuing a career in criminal prosecution after I graduate from law school. When I am not studying I enjoy hiking, live music, and traveling with my dog, Sally.
My name is Madeline McCall and I am a rising 3L at the University of Kentucky College of Law. I am from Louisville, but I have spent the last six years living in Lexington. I received my Bachelor’s degree in English and Psychology from the University of Kentucky in 2017, graduating Summa Cum Laude. I love fitness, reading for fun, anything “The Office” related, and spending time with my friends. Professionally, I am interested in criminal law, family law, legal writing, and litigation. I plan to stay and work in Kentucky after graduation next spring.
My name is Valerie Whitlock and I am a rising 2L at the University of Kentucky College of Law. I am from Hodgenville Kentucky, where I attended LaRue County High School. I am a graduate of the Patterson School of Diplomacy and Internation Commerce ’16. I have an identical twin, and I enjoy reading, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. I am very interested in criminal law and litigation.
Miles Meehan is a rising 2L at the University of Kentucky College of Law. Miles graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2011 with his B.A. in Psychology. While at UK, Miles was the UK mascot “Scratch”! At UK Law, he is the co-founder of the Criminal Law Society and a Site Coordinator for StreetLaw. Outside of school, Miles has been a professional actor for 23 years and is a sought-after Film & TV acting coach and musical theatre director.
Andrew Gillespie is a rising 3L at the University of Kentucky College of Law. Although he grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, he was always a Wildcat at heart, and made the decision to attend UK for both his undergraduate career, where he earned a degree in Political Science and Economics, as well as law school. In addition to being an Editor for the Kentucky Journal of Equine, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Law, a member of the Appalachian Law Caucus club, and the Federalist Society, Andrew has held internships for Judge Travis in the Fayette Circuit Court and for the Department for Local Government in Frankfort. In his spare time, he enjoys music, playing guitar, and hiking or backpacking. Andrew has an interest in a wide array of areas, including criminal prosecution and government work, both of which he is interested in pursuing after graduation.
My name is Reed Norris, and I am a rising 3L at the University of Alabama School of Law. I grew up in Bowling Green, Kentucky and received my Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Kentucky in 2016. After law school, I hope to practice criminal or employment law. When I’m not doing school work, you can find me with friends, listening to music, or playing sports.
Erin McLaughlin is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is a rising 3L at Widener University Delaware Law School, located in Wilmington, Delaware. She will serve as Widener Law Review’s External Managing Editor for the 2019-2020 year. Erin also has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Equine Studies from Centenary University. After graduating from Centenary University, Erin worked in the Thoroughbred racing industry for several years before attending law school. During that time, Erin lived in Lexington, Kentucky, and worked on several Thoroughbred farms in the surrounding area.
Erin loves Philadelphia and is an avid Phillies, Flyers and Eagles fan, but after law school she plans to return to Lexington. When not doing school work or working, Erin enjoys sailing on the Chesapeake Bay, riding her own horse, Romeo, hiking and spending time outdoors with her Labrador Retriever, Cian.
So far at the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office, I have continued working on translating the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office website from English to Spanish. I am still getting back into my Spanish comprehension and have so far gotten one of the pages finished. I hope to get the rest done very soon. The interpretation of certain information from Spanish to English or vice versa helps me understand the judicial system from another perspective. It could be hard for individuals who only speak Spanish to get a good grasp of the court system and how it works when everything is usually in English. I think that the assistance of an individual who can either speak or write in Spanish not only builds on their resume for other job opportunities but is a skill that can help others. I will always try to broaden my mental Spanish dictionary, so I can use it in life situations; whether in court or other instances.
When I sit in on a hearing, it is usually a mix of either; status hearings, criminal cases, sentencing/probations, and any other disputes that the judge must decide on. Depending on the judge and the division, I usually hear about drug related cases and more status hearings. These are interesting to watch, which is what I enjoy seeing when I go to the Circuit Court. The Defense, however, does come prepared to argue their case. The Prosecution and Defense always refer to evidence and documents that they have obtained over the course of the case. If the case is taken to trial, this results in a more longer, detailed, and 50/50 trial where the jury will have to deliberate on their decision a lot tougher than they originally presumed. When I’m not in court and I’m in the Attorney’s office. I am usually calling victims and letting them know about their next court date. This process, to me, seems critical as am talking to someone I have never met, and they are a victim of a crime. I make sure that I speak to them in a calming matter and let them know when the defendant will have to appear in court again. I’m excited to learn more about the criminal justice system next semester!
Last week I went to the Circuit Court where I sat in on a case where Kim Baird was the prosecutor that dealt with a man being charged with possession of drugs; the judge was Ernesto Scorsone. By the time I left, they were in the middle of cross examination where Ms. Baird asked the man questions. I thought the way she handled herself and how she managed to have a question after every statement he made was impressive and almost seemed easy for her to do. That was very intriguing to me. The other day I sat in on case hearings and with retired Judge Thomas Clark. It went by very fast and some criminals had interesting cases. I also came back to the office and began working on translating the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office website from English to Spanish, which I am still working on at this point.
Last week on, Tuesday, me and the other EBCE student helped Kathy Phillips, transcribe an assault case where the defendants shot into a house where several girls were having a sleepover. One of the girls was shot and was permanently paralyzed. I was able to transcribe the interview of the detective and one of the defendants. Listening to the interview is one thing but typing everything they say (Or what I could recall) was another. It wasn’t the first time I had transcribed an interview, but the talking-over and slurred speech was hard to pick up on.
Last week, on the dates; 11/7 and 11/9, I took part in helping make copies for one of the prosecuting attorneys and the copies were of a murder case. As myself and another EBCE student made copies, I did a quick skim of the information and was fascinated by the evidence and other court documents. I also sat in on a few court hearings for both defense and prosecution and made more calls to victims regarding their next court hearings with the other intern, Zach. I was really fascinated with the reading of the case I was given, since I plan on continuing my career in law as I get older, I believe that this will be helpful and it’s good that I get to know what case documents will look like and how detailed they are.