Medgar Internships With Brooklyn DA's Office

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As part of a multidisciplinary effort to increase student involvement in social justice initiatives, four Medgar Evers College students have completed a summer internship program in the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office where they learned what it takes to become an attorney from some of the borough's top prosecutors.

The internships were part of the new Community Justice Program, which combines aspects of the Brooklyn D.A.'s reentry and diversion programs with programs offered by the College and creates additional opportunities for students interested in law and social justice.

Nathalie Duton, 21, Landry Sen, 20, Lissette Ortiz, 20, and Omalola Marsh, 24, received a behind-the-scenes look at the day-to-day realities of working in a prosecutor's office. The students worked in the appeals, early case assessment and domestic violence bureaus, among others, playing a role in reviewing and analyzing cases.

"The Medgar Evers students in our internship program were outstanding," said District Attorney Charles J. Hynes, who spoke with the students about the day-to-day challenges faced by law enforcement. "We wanted them to see how prosecutors make tough decisions each day in our pursuit of justice and our commitment to public safety."

"Our students had a rich and rewarding summer learning firsthand the intricacies of our legal system," said Medgar Evers College President
Dr. William L. Pollard. "This internship solidified their dreams of careers in law and is another important component of our ongoing partnership with the Kings County District Attorney's Office."

Each intern had responsibilities that included interviewing victims of crime, witnesses and police officers involved in arrests; sitting in on
court proceedings, including trials and hearings; and handling other aspects of real-life court cases. "Interviewing the officers and
witnesses was most important in building confidence," said Landry Sen, who is an active member of the Medgar Ever College Pre-Law Society.

All four students of this inaugural class of interns said they are considering law school as the next step in their academic careers. "It was a great experience, especially with me being a minority," said Omalola Marsh. "Medgar Evers College and the District Attorney's Office
created a great partnership, and hopefully we can expand in the future."

Under the auspices of the Community Justice Program, a new workshop series will be offered at Medgar Evers College during the fall semester. Entitled "Problem Solving Justice: The Criminal Justice System as an Agent of Social Change," the workshops will be taught by First Assistant District Attorney Anne Swern and Counsel to the District Attorney Lance Ogiste.

The first session is scheduled for Thursday, September 22, from 2 - 4:45 p.m. at 1150 Carroll Street in Brooklyn, in room CM6.
Additional sessions will be offered later this fall. "Working with these four ambitious students was a pleasure," said Ogiste. "They were dedicated to learning the ins and outs of the District Attorney's Office and the responsibilities entailed, and they performed their assignments with great ability."

Medgar Evers College was founded in 1970 through the efforts from educators and community leaders in central Brooklyn. The College is
named after Medgar Wiley Evers, a Mississippi-born black civil rights activist who was assassinated on June 12, 1963.

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