Over the past summer I worked in the Federal District Court of Oregon for Judge Anna Brown. The Federal Court works with such a wide variety of cases, both civil and criminal, but ranges from illegal reentry to fraud to burglary. Our court system is made up of so much more than just judges and lawyers, but should be approached from a holistic view. Without departments such as Pretrial services, Probation, Federal Marshals and Courtroom Security Officers, our system would be cluttered and inefficient.
Working in the chambers for a judge is like seeing the behind the scenes of a production at the Globe Theatre. There is so much manpower, careful thought and proper procedure. With the flexibility of chambers, I have been able to improve my writing by preparing Rule 16 memos, Removal memos, and doing research in order to update legal standards for our Law Clerks. I was able to watch an entire trial from the view of the judge and also discuss the process behind the scenes. Aside from working in chambers, I was able to meet with Probation, Pretrial and even visit the Federal Corrections Institution in Sheridan and understand how the system functions simultaneously. The Court most importantly serves the needs of the community, whether that is in the form of a restraining order, a drug-treatment program, or giving a person a second chance. I am so proud that I have been able to serve the community.
I am happy that this opportunity was provided to me and that it was made financially feasible by PILP. My view of the legal system has broadened from this experience, but I also understand the day to day nature. Every day is different, but each has its own challenges, mentally, physically, and emotionally. My hope is that more students may broaden their legal experiences with the help of PILP and serve the community, but also realize that it is possible to do both.