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Public Interest Law Project

Katherine Edwards

October 10, 2011

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The Defender Association

The Defender Association (TDA), Seattle, WA

This summer I worked for one of the most incredible public defender organizations on the planet!  I worked as Rule 9 Legal intern (Washington’s equivalent to a certified law student) in the organization’s misdemeanor division.   As one of seven interns, we each received a misdemeanor caseload that included assaults, thefts, obstruction, property destruction, driving while license suspended, and prostitution.  We worked in teams of two on each misdemeanor case, and completed all the various tasks associated with trial work.  I was able to try a case before a Seattle jury, argue suppression motions, and completed a general motions practice.  I also was able to work on a murder case with two other attorneys in the office, as well as conduct research for a sexually violent predator case.  

Overall, this experience was absolutely amazing.  TDA and our supervisor, Theresa Allman, did a marvelous job teaching us the nuances of practicing as a public defender.  Despite overwhelming caseloads, each attorney exemplified passion and dedication to this work.  It was inspiring to see this commitment in action.  In the end, it was an absolute privilege to represent indigent defendants throughout the summer, and I look forward to a future doing similar work.  

 

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