This past summer I had the opportunity to work for the United States Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Idaho. I worked with three Assistant U.S. Attorneys on cases from the ten northernmost counties and the Kootenai, Coeur d’Alene, and Nez Perce Native American Reservations in Idaho. These cases involved a wide range of issues, from violent crimes to drug trafficking to embezzlement. While working on these cases, I gained firsthand knowledge of criminal procedure and the prosecutorial process from start to finish. My main responsibilities included drafting memorandums, motions, briefs, plea agreements, and meeting with victims and witnesses to assist with trial preparation.
I also was able to meet individuals from other government entities and tour their facilities, such as local and state police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Border Patrol, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Working with other agencies allowed me to gain a broader understanding of the complexities of litigation, as well as introduced me to other possible career avenues.
The Public Interest Law Project (PILP) stipend gave me the opportunity to gain practical experience, expand my professional network, strengthen my legal research and writing skills, and most importantly be an instrument of change in my community. Not only was my experience with the U.S. Attorney’s Office a benefit to my legal education, I was able to see the role the Federal Government plays in protecting the most vulnerable individuals in our nation.