Los Angeles, California
The PILP Award enabled me to serve the city of Los Angeles this summer as a certified law student with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. Without the PILP award, I would not have had this experience. The skills I have gained and the exposure I have had with the City Attorney’s Office is critical for my future career as a prosecutor. The City Attorney’s Office advocates for safe neighborhoods, strives to reduce gang and gun activity, protects local business owners, and much more. As one of the largest prosecuting agencies in the nation, the Office has many units that participate in zealous litigation every day. I worked for the Central Trials Unit, which prosecutes misdemeanor crimes ranging from prostitution to petty theft. Networking and building relationships with these attorneys provided me with a wonderful experience to expand my courtroom skills, legal research and analysis, as well as my interaction with criminal law.
This was my second summer working with the Unit, but my first summer as a certified law student. As a certified law student, I was able to participate in every aspect of the litigation process. I appeared on the record when defendants were arraigned, and I negotiated plea terms with defense attorneys. I conducted restitution and probation violation hearings, which involved the presentation of evidence as well as the direct examination and cross-examination of witnesses. I co-chaired a trial with a deputy city attorney and I was involved throughout the entire process from jury selection to a verdict. I wrote, filed, and argued motions in pre-trial matters, such as motions to include controversial evidence in trial. I staffed post-conviction courtrooms and argued terms of post-conviction, as well as issued bench warrants and arrest warrants with various judicial officers. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Office and it has inspired me to continue my work in the public interest field.