June 01, 2014

Sarah Park

Anchorage District Attorney, Anchorage, AK

I spent the summer of 2014 at the Anchorage District Attorney’s office (DOA) in Anchorage, Alaska. This office is responsible for prosecuting violations of state criminal statutes in the greater Anchorage area, including Sand Point, Dillingham, and Unalaska.

I was assigned to the misdemeanor unit. On a daily basis, I covered court hearings such as arraignments, bail hearings, and changes of plea. I also had the opportunity to write an appellate brief. My time at the DOA taught me to be comfortable in a courtroom and effective ways to communicate with defendants, victims, and opposing counsel.

The PILP stipend allowed me to treat this summer as volunteer work and spend the fall in a full-time externship with the DOA. Because I was at the office so long, they gave me my own caseload that I saw from beginning to end—that is, from screening to trial. More importantly, the PILP stipend allowed me to do the type of work I want to do in the city I would really like to practice in.