Sarah Dowd ’15 shares highlights from two judicial internships


I’ve done two judicial internships. My first summer, I worked for Justice Crooks at the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which was really an interesting experience. We got to, right at the beginning of the summer
was the end of the term for the court, so we were mandating opinions and cross-checking
things to see what does the dissent say versus what the majority is saying and is Justice Crooks
writing this piece or is he just making sure that he’s actually signing on to the content. And then throughout the rest of the summer
we were gearing up for the next term, just reading through the briefs, doing all the
research that the lawyers had already done, but writing bench memos and doing some site
checks and things like that. And that was all appellate level work, so
we were looking at these questions where the law runs out or where there isn’t precedent
or something clear, and that made me want to do a second internship, which I did this
fall with Judge Patterson in the Southern District of New York because he is district
court, and I got to see exactly how fast things move. And Judge Patterson is absolutely wonderful
and loves trials, so I got to see several trials go on, and you know, both of them were
criminal trials and it was really interesting just to see the different pacing and also
to watch Judge Patterson create the record that I knew, if there were appeals, I kept
thinking about how it would read as a cold record to an appellate court, like I had been
doing over the summer. And I thought it was just interesting to see
the balance of what goes on on either side.

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