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In the Field: Interning with the District Attorney’s Office in Wake County

headshot of Amber Dover

This post was written by Amber Dover, a senior studying criminology with a minor in social work and a Department of Sociology and Anthropology student ambassador.

My name is Amber, and I am a senior majoring in criminology and minoring in social work. I am attending law school upon graduating from NC State — with intentions of practicing criminal or family law. As a student in the Sociology and Anthropology Department, I have had the opportunity to obtain an internship with the District Attorney’s Office in Wake County – Drug Unit. During this semester I have been working towards a total of 120 hours towards my internship and have had immense opportunities!

Some of the things that I have done during my internship consists of preparing case files and summaries including indictments, judgements and warrant copies; observing first appearances in court for felony and misdemeanor cases; engaging in interrelated communications with government agencies such as the CCBI, ALE, RPD and the SBI; building connections with Assistant District Attorneys and conversating with district judges; and learning about federal documents relevant to the criminal justice system.

My favorite thing that I have been able to do while interning at the District Attorney’s office is to observe and sit-in on courtroom proceedings. Especially during COVID-19, I have been able to observe how the pandemic has impacted the criminal justice system in terms of plea arrangements, setting bail – bond hearings, attorney and client relations, prison capacity and restrictions, as well as the courtroom capacity.

Over the span of the semester I have been able to obtain first-hand exposure within the criminal justice system, along with gaining knowledge of the courtroom work group. I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to apply the experiences that I have engaged in with my internship to the criminology theories and concepts that I have learned in my upper-level courses such as SOC 428, SOC 400, and SOC 427. Engaging with the criminal justice system has allowed me to get the experience that I will need outside of the classroom while obtaining professional experience that I can carry with me throughout my career.

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