H. Tripp

This past summer I interned with the United States Attorney’s Office for Washington, D.C., in their Felony and Major Crimes section. Under the supervision of a now Senior AUSA, my fellow interns and I worked to help prosecute the individuals who committed crimes in the District. I loved this internship so much, I stayed through the fall semester as well.

During my time at USAO, I worked on a large variety of things – from minute things such as jail calls and body worn camera footage of crime scenes, to researching and writing motions that were submitted to the court. This internship really put my researching and writing skills to the test because the last thing I wanted to do was make a mistake on a motion and end up losing the motion because of it. Many of the motions I worked on went hand-in-hand with things I had learned over the course of my 1L year and helped me understand things I was being taught in my 2L classes as well. This internship gave me a first-hand look at my dream job and I was even fortunate enough to be able to sit on a trial as a second chair prosecutor. Not only is this the coolest thing to happen to me, but as a result of some of my research, the AUSA I was assisting was able to get something into evidence that the judge initially wouldn’t allow in. I was able to meet with victims face-to-face which really put in focus that the work we are doing is not just putting people through trial, it’s getting justice for the people who are affected by crime in D.C.

None of this would’ve been possible without the SPIL Stipend. The internship required a commitment of 40 hours a week and before getting the stipend, I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to work full-time and have a second job that would fully pay my bills. Because of the stipend, I was able to work full-time, while not having to worry about how I was going to pay my rent or my bills. With this huge weight off my back, I was able to fully immerse myself in the work I was doing with my office and put my best work forward. This internship in turn reaffirmed not only my desire to work in public interest, but reaffirmed my desire to be an Assistant U.S. Attorney one day. Having had this internship, I know going into my career that I am prepared and capable of doing the job I want to do when I graduate. This experience also gave me an opportunity to build on my researching and writing skills, and I am more confident in them now that I would’ve been had I not be able to have this opportunity. Without the stipend, not only would I have had to give up my dream internship and I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity and experience I was able to have because of it.