This summer I have a Criminal Litigation Externship with the Leon County Public Defender’s office. I spend my days mostly doing legal research for the attorney I was assigned to. I have been drafting motions, attending hearings, and sitting in on trials. A typical day will include going to court at least once, and then spending the rest of my day researching or drafting. I have learned a ton about the criminal justice system, and the different ways prosecutors and public defenders negotiate. My favorite thing I have sat in on so far this summer has been jury selection. It is so interesting to see the different qualities attorneys want in their jurors depending on the case.
I am also taking Evidence this summer with Professor Mark Spottswood. Evidence is an extremely interesting subject and it ties in nicely with my work at the Public Defender’s Office. Taking a 4 credit class in only 8 weeks has been difficult but I have really enjoyed getting to fully immerse myself in one subject, instead of splitting my time between five. The most fascinating thing we have learned so far have been the hearsay exceptions. There are so many of them, and I had no idea. My knowledge of hearsay exceptions has already come in handy at the Public Defender’s office more than once, so I know it will help me for years to come.
Madison Johnson, 2L