Eleven years ago, I made up my mind that I would become an attorney. The idea quickly escalated into a long-term plan, and I began paving my career path accordingly. Each interaction I had with the legal field solidified my decision; and after researching the different areas of law, my sights were set on corporate litigation.
Back in January, I came to the Fayette Commonwealth Attorney Office to interview for an intern position. During my interview, Mr. Larson cautioned me. He said, “Listen, Silvia, I have to warn you. Be careful working here; because you might get addicted to what we do.” I considered his statement, but took it lightly. My long-term plan did not include working with criminals and violent crimes. I wanted to legally represent banks and corporations; hence my Economics major and law school aspirations. Interning at the Fayette Commonwealth Attorney’s Office presented a perfect opportunity to learn more about the court system and get hands-on experience, but I expected to only dabble in criminal law for the summer.
As an intern, I spent the summer working on a variety of cases and became intrigued by what goes on in the office. My untamable curiosity was constantly fed by helpful attorneys, victim’s advocates, and police officers who did not hesitate to answer my questions and involve me in their work. Every morning, I looked forward to the crime-fighting day ahead.
I don’t know when it happened. It could have been as a result of the satisfaction I felt after the first conviction I was a part of, or triggered by my abhorrence for the criminal in a sexual assault case I worked on, but at some point in the past few weeks, I substantiated Mr. Larson’s claim. I developed a passion for criminal law. It happened so naturally, that I didn’t notice the change until the last official days of the internship neared.
For most, not heeding a warning can have unfortunate repercussions. For me, it proved a blessing. I wholeheartedly believe success in a career derives from passion; thus I am excited to have found such an interesting and stimulating work environment. Mr. Larson, you were right.
Friday was my last day as an intern at the Fayette Commonwealth’s Attorney Office. I am going to miss it to say the least. It will be nice to sleep in again and have more free time, but I will still miss getting to come into work each day and feel like I am doing something important. Or more like watching something important happen right in front of me.
My favorite part of this internship was observing a homicide trial. I got to see what real court was like and how the lawyers, judge, and advocates handle themselves in a court room. I learned how to pay attention even when it is hard and how to focus on the witness testimonies by taking notes. I have learned that it is important to pay attention to everything that is happening because it might be important later on. The tiniest detail or inconsistency could be crucial to winning your trial.
I learned about how an office works, about how to make a case binder, how to use the copier… I learned how to, quoting Ray the D.A., “live in a grown up atmosphere”. Some things I have learned here I may not be able to use in whatever career I choose. But a lot of the things I can use in anywhere, anytime. I have learned skills that everyone should learn at some point and that are important to today’s society. I learned how to be professional, in a way.
I’m not sure if this is my chosen career, but it is a field that definitely interests me and that I would like to learn even more about. This has been a wonderful opportunity and I hope to be able to relive this experience, maybe even next summer if I am able and allowed to.
Before the opportunity to work at the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, my expectation of having an internship was mediocre. I thought the duties of an intern were to bring employees coffee, file paperwork, scan records, and shred paper documents. I remember being nervous my first day of work. I had this idea that all I was going to be doing was getting coffee and doing paperwork. I was worried because since I am new to Lexington, I had no idea where the nearest Starbucks was located. I also did not want to file the papers in the wrong spot, and mess up the whole office. Luckily for me, Ray Larson’s office did not meet the preconceived notion that most interns have at a job. Instead of getting coffee, my very first day at the office, I was thrown into a trial concerning murder. I witnessed the whole trial start to finish, and I felt like the luckiest person to be able to have this opportunity.
This past Monday turned out to be slightly more intriguing than most. I awoke early in the morning, ready to start my daily routine when I noticed a message from our internship coordinator. The message stated that the Franklin County Medical Examiner’s office had an autopsy prepared for that morning. All the interns were welcome to head over to Frankfort and view the autopsy process (if we could stomach it, that is). Each of us knew watching the autopsy would definitely be a once in a life time chance, so within an hour we were on our way to Frankfort.