The Life of a Criminal Lawyer

IMG_2111

Keeping the streets of New York safe.

First, I cannot believe that my internship is over! This summer has gone by so fast, but the eight weeks at my internship have gone even faster. I remember in my first blog post I mentioned how nervous and excited I was for this internship. By the end of the summer, my office made the interns and myself feel as if we were just regular employees for the office. I am so grateful and will forever appreciate the warmth and caring atmosphere, my bosses and fellow workers provided for me.

I’m not sure where to begin. I’ve seen so much this summer at the District Attorney’s Office. From listening to incriminating calls of the defendant, to watching that same exact evidence being used in the courtroom. I’ve been to lectures from judges and lawyers, talking about their experiences as an officer of justice in the criminal justice system. My office provided all the interns with an amazing insight with everything dealing with the criminal justice system, especially the effects of the criminal justice system in the Bronx.

But, the best learning experience for me was to be able to sit in on a homicide trial. From start to finish, I got to see everything that goes into the procedure of a homicide trial. Even though I’m not able to go into full details of the trial, I’ve seen how justice prevails in the Bronx and how my office is trying their best to make sure everyone receives a fair and justice trail, even when the public may not always agree with the outcome.

Words can’t describe how happy I am to be able to work at the District Attorney’s Office. Working at this office has made me come to a life decision that I’ve always have battled with when it came to which type of law I wanted to specialize in later in my life. I’ve come to the conclusion that criminal law may not be the type of law that I would like to practice for the rest of my life. Being a criminal lawyer takes a certain type of personality and toughness. The lawyers at my office see it all; from trialing a murder case to dealing with cases that involve children being sexually abused by a family member. These lawyers have to deal with these horrific cases on an everyday basis. We need these officers of law to help bring justice for these victims. But, while I respect everything that the lawyers in this field do, I’m not sure that I could deal with such sad and gruesome cases on a daily basis. Even though I’ve come to this conclusion, again, I’m so so grateful to work at this office. If I never got to truly experience the life of a criminal lawyer, I would have never gotten to know if this type of work was for me or not.

Written by Brian Kouassi, BC Class of 2017

Advertisements

The Life of an Intern at the Office of the District Attorney’s Office of the Bronx

Kouassi

District Attorney Darcel Clark, speaking at a press conference, earlier this year.

This past month, I’ve had the utmost privilege to intern at the Office of the District Attorney’s Office if the Bronx. Given the fact that I wish to pursue a law degree in the near future, working at this office is providing myself with the tools, to be well equipped for my future endeavors.

The Bronx District Attorney’s Office investigates and prosecutes crime, assists victims, and works with police and the community to implement crime prevention strategies to improve public safety and the quality of life of the Bronx’s residents. As part of the office’s internship program, each intern is placed within a department in the office. My department is the Crime Strategies & Case Enhancement Unit (CSCEU). The Assistant District Attorneys in the unit are assigned to areas in the Bronx, and monitors crime patterns in coordination with the NYPD and develop strategies to reduce crime.

This bureau works with the Community Affairs Unit, the National Guard that has a special program within the state of New York, and the NYPD to focus in on, and reduce, shootings and by concentrating on the violence-prone areas and individuals of the Bronx.

This unit also has certified digital forensic examiners for computers, cell site analysts, social media analysts, and call analysts for Rikers Island calls, in order to secure forensically sound results that can be presented by our personnel to the Court and the Grand Jury.

I have learned so much at my internship, for the short amount of time that I’ve been at my office. If I list all of the things I’ve gotten to see and learn, this blog post would be extremely long. But, the most memorable and most enriching experience for me is overseeing a homicide trial. I’m currently helping two Assistant District Attorneys on a homicide trial, which is something my office unfortunately deals with a lot.  I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to help serve on this trial because it gives me a completely different insight in what lawyers do for the preparation of the trial, the rules and procedures during the trial, and anticipating the final results of the trial. I can tell you one thing, it’s very different from what you see in Law and Order.

Looking back to the first day of my internship, I was extremely nervous about what I was about to get myself into. As of right now, I couldn’t be happier with my internship. I’m very lucky to work in an office that actually wants to help the interns learn and treats everyone as equals.

Written by Brian Kouassi, BC Class of 2017