I am a UW-Madison graduate with a degree in Legal Studies and a Criminal Justice Certificate. In the next couple years I hope to either work for a nonprofit or join Americorps. In my future endeavors, I hope to be able to focus on helping individuals from low-income neighborhoods.
This summer I interned with the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office-Jail Intake. I spent most of my time in the jail interviewing individuals who were arrested to see if they qualified for representation from the Public Defender’s Office. This initial interview was generally the first contact that our clients had with the Public Defender’s Office since being arrested. While the main point of the interview was to gain knowledge for our lawyers in court and to see if they qualified for representation, I also took advantage of this time to help our clients. Whether it was answering their questions, listening to their story, or relaying messages to our lawyers, my main goal was to help our clients in any way I possibly could as an intern.
My whole goal through college was to find a path in which I could help individuals who were in a less fortunate situation. I believe being surrounded by many great people at the Public Defender’s Office has helped me push me towards this goal. The care and compassion that everyone in the office showed towards our clients has encouraged me to be the best version of myself. I hope I am able to use these qualities to continue to help and support individuals from low-income neighborhoods in my future career.
I would like to thank the family of Audrey J. Harris for their generosity. I would not have been able to focus all my energy this summer towards the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office without their financial support. I am truly honored to have received this award, and so thankful for the opportunities it allowed me to experience.