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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Volunteer Spotlight: Dmitriy Golosinskiy

July 20, 2015

Dmitriy Golosinskiy began volunteering for NCVLI in the Fall of 2014 during his first year at Lewis & Clark School of Law.  He told us a little about his experience as a volunteer at NCVLI.

What did you know about victims’ rights before working at NCVLI?

Prior to working at NCVLI, I had very small knowledge in regards to crime victims’ rights. Most of my undergrad classes that dealt with criminal justice had a strong focus on the criminal justice system, society, the defendants, or prosecution. There was barely any focus on the crime victim. As a result, prior to NCVLI I had no knowledge of crime victim law .  

What have you learned while working at NCVLI?

While working with NCVLI, I learned about the extent of how crime victims are often ignored in the legal system, and the focus can be solely centered on defense and prosecution. In addition, I have learned about the hardships that many crime victims face, from prolonged court proceedings, to intense cross-examination in court, as well as hurdles in obtaining restitution or compensation for counseling. Furthermore, I have learned about the legislation and court decisions surrounding crime victim law. On a positive note, almost every month I was able to find new court decisions or legislation being introduced to help crime victims. Whether it was for funding to help for counseling or new laws to protect them during intense cross-examination, it was great to see what appeared to be a shift towards protecting crime victims.

What did you do while working at NCVLI?

I was an articles clerk at NCVLI. This position required researching and finding news articles and publications that deal with crime victim law. Afterwards, I would summarize the news articles in a non-biased and objective manner. These would be sent out as part of a monthly digest to NCVLI’s subscribers.

How has working at NCVLI impacted you?

Working with NCVLI has impacted me by opening my eyes to the role that crime victims play in the legal system. I learned about the hardships crime victims face and the backlash or burdens many crime victims face when they come forward after years of harboring the details of their tragic experiences. During my current judicial externship with Judge Graves I have been able to see how crime victims can play a role in court proceedings. For example, I just recently had the opportunity to observe a crime victim making a statement during the defendant’s sentencing, with the assist of crime victim support staff. I saw the impact of testifying on intimate and tragic details and how the Judge, the defendant, counsel and those observing reacted to the victim’s statement.

What did you like most about working at NCVLI?

I enjoyed the researching and working with various talented individuals. As for the researching, I would often come across interesting bills that I would end up digging into and find out more interesting facts. I was able to collaborate with other externs and attorneys, who were not only easy to work with but were also knowledgeable and taught me a great deal in regards to crime victim law.

What would you say to a new law student thinking about helping crime victims?

I would tell a new student interested in crime victim law that they should get involved in an organization or group the deals with helping crime victims, such as NCVLI. As a first, it is an opportunity to work or help in an area that you are passionate about. Second, it’s a great learning experience, and you truly learn a lot about crime victims and how the legal system affects them. Lastly, it is an opportunity to work with other like-minded individuals who have similar passions and would be more than happy to help you with advice in any stage of your career.