For the Good of the Gulf: UNC Law Winter/Spring Break Pro Bono Project

Monday, March 14, 2011

Making a Girl Feel Needed...

Working for a Public Defender really makes a girl feel needed. The OPD is definitely a busy place to be. As a 2L, I was able to do legal research and apply my knowledge from Crim Pro to help clients immediately. We were all thrown in the mix and given responsibility immediately. I also performed administrative tasks helping my attorney, Ariel, update her computer index so they can keep track of clients as they move through the system.

In addition to working in the office, Ariel made sure that I was exposed to court. I got to watch jury selection for a couple of cases and opening statements. It was definitely interesting to compare techniques and styles of different attorneys. Going to court was something that I especially enjoyed because I am interested in doing litigation work. It was also entertaining to see attorneys get scolded by judges for things like tardiness, dress code or not having the calendaring information for a particular client. Going to court teaches you just as much about what not to do as what to do.

When I was not working I was on a personal mission to eat my way through New Orleans. We had ferdis,beignets, alligator, crawfish etouffee and gumbo. I was always satisfied. NOLA’s people, music and personality have a unique flare that makes New Orleans unlike anywhere else. I am lucky to have enjoyed it here this week. The time and labor that I put in with OPD was more than repaid by enjoying this struggling but beautiful city.

Amelia Thompson


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