Colleen Dixon writes from sunny California:
For my summer internship made possible by my EJF summer stipend, I am working in Los Angeles at the U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California. There are fifteen summer "externs" from law schools including NYU, Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, and USC. After a few days of orientation, the extern coordinators assigned us to different sections within the office and paired us with Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) mentors. I was assigned to the National Security section. Because of security precautions, I cannot go into detail about my specific assignments. Overall, the work has been interesting and substantive.
Most extern assignments include research, drafting motions, writing memos, preparing evidence exhibits, and observing trials. In addition to work, the office arranged for the externs to tour the federal prison in Los Angeles, which holds individuals awaiting trial and awaiting transfer to other federal prisons. The prison is nine stories high with prisoners on most floors, which range from minimum to high security. We toured the woman's floor that holds eighty-five prisoners as well as two minimum-security male floors. We also viewed the law library, which is expected to receive Lexis and Westlaw access in the next year.
So far, my experience has exceeded my expectations. From the intelligent, friendly, and outgoing AUSA's to the intellectually challenging work, my externship is ideal. Because my internship is unpaid, the EJF grant made it possible for me to accept my summer externship. Without EJF funding, I would not be able to further my own career goal—working in public service, specifically at the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney's office.