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Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
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Jaclyn Rothenberg

Liberal Arts Major(s): Political Science
Minor: Business and the Liberal Arts, Women's Studies
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts

What was the best part of your experience?

The best part of my experience was being the first intern to compile data for National Center for State Court. In the past five years, no other intern had been able to make our information fit in with their requested data. The Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts does not label cases the same way as other states. For instance, Massachusetts does not label a case as a felony or a misdemeanor, yet they requested that information, so I had to code each case myself. I was proud of my persistence to finally produce the data.

I was given the privilege to see how law is truly a helping profession

How did this experience impact you academically?

I had very limited knowledge about the appellate level, so I was able to immerse myself in the language and terms, the civil procedures, and motions that needed to be filed. Now that I'm in an American Judicial Behavior class, I am able to apply my knowledge of the structure of Supreme Courts at the state and federal level in class. At my internship, I also analyzed the main database program provided to me and realized I could use my Political Science background to create a project that would give people a broader look at the data.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

Before my engagement experience, I had my mind set on law school right after graduation. However, after working with people in low-income communities this summer and realizing how beneficial work experience can be before law school, I've become more open to taking a gap year before law school. I've been using all my resources in my social network to determine what experience during a gap year would interest me and be the most impactful to my growth. The Clerk and his team treated everyone who walked into the office equally and respectfully. They were patient when people were confused, they were helpful in explaining steps to take and giving advice on a case, and they were compassionate when cases became emotional. This work environment is rare. I was given the privilege to see how law is truly a helping profession.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program gave me the confidence to pursue an internship that other students don't normally have the opportunity to get, rather than just settling for a traditional summer job. I wanted to explore an area of law that I had yet to see, and receiving the financial award to do that was something that I am very grateful for.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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