Working in the Enforcement Side of Policy

Kadin Asbery interned with Meagan Rich Law in Summer 2021. Instead of policymaking, he worked on the side of policy enforcement, focusing on juvenile cases at the firm.

The process of finding an internship can be intimidating and competitive, it takes many hours of research and many, many applications. When I began looking for my own internship I quickly realized that there are so many different moving parts in our government that it can be challenging to decide on what kind of internship interests you because there are so many different exciting opportunities. After narrowing my interests down and applying for several positions, I was able to land an internship at a law firm and quickly reinforced my goal of one day becoming an attorney. Immediately after starting my internship, I began to feel incredibly lucky that I was able to do what I did this summer and will not soon forget the firsthand experience and knowledge that I picked up, nor the connections and friendships that I made along the way.

This summer I was an intern at Meagan Rich Law, a law office that deals primarily Criminal, Family, and Juvenile law. Rather than dealing with those that create public policy like many of my classmates, I instead dealt with enforcing it. Specifically, this was done through Juvenile cases, whereby our firm’s attorney has a contract of appointed council, helping ensure that children in bad homes find safety. This kind of work took an emotional toll on me at first, but as I began to see cases come to a close I learned how rewarding it feels to know that you helped change someone’s life for the better.

My job during my time interning was to pull and sort case files, conduct research, complete discovery, answer phone calls, help with billing, and assist the paralegal and attorney with anything they needed depending on the day. Due to the nature of my work, I am not at liberty to explain much of what I saw, but I did learn many valuable lessons that will help me as I continue pursuing a career in law. One of the most important things I learned is how important organizational skills were for the job, whether it’s sorting files or scheduling court dates, one slip up could cause huge problems and the stakes are very high.

As I reflect on my time working at this law firm, I am grateful for the advice I received from my professor concerning the importance of networking or as we called it, going on “coffee talks.” By inviting attorneys I met in the courthouse to coffee breaks, I was able to get to know people who work in many different fields of law, broadening my horizons. I met many judges, court reporters, and county clerks who made me even more excited to start my career. If there is one piece of advice that I could share concerning any internship, it would be to do what needs to be done before someone needs to ask. For example, in my internship, I was thanked profusely after my attorney discovered I had restocked our bathrooms. After reorganizing the closet that we used to store case files, I was given an employee spotlight on social media. Small acts like this which so often go unnoticed may not directly concern your specific internship responsibilities and seem small, but once someone discovers this kind of work ethic you will stand out to your employer as a reliable and important part of the team no matter where the future may take you.