What is the jurisdiction of the department? How big is the department?
agency address some of the following issues: What is the jurisdiction of the department? How big is the department? How big is the jurisdiction?Explain
A description of the formal organization of your agency.
You are interning with a local law enforcement agency address some of the following issues:
What is the jurisdiction of the department?
How big is the department?
How big is the jurisdiction?
How does the department deal with neighboring jurisdictions? For example small communities (or college campuses) within a larger city may have their own police force. What issues does that create and how are they resolved?
What are the different divisions?
Who is the chief of the department?
Describe the chain of command from a front line officer to the chief. Include the names of individuals as appropriate.
How are the shifts organized for divisions that operate on a 24-hour cycle?
What are some of the most common offenses the department deals with? What are the likely ways those cases are resolved?
How are entry level officers recruited and trained?
What are the usual and routine duties of entry level officers (or other employees you interact with on a regular basis)?
On what basis are entry level officers evaluated and promoted?
Are there any special or unique challenges the department faces? How is the department responding to these challenges?
Are there any special projects or initiatives being implemented by the department? What are they and what are their goals?
If you are interning with a secure detention facility such as a jail or a prison your paper might include some of the following:
What populations does the facility detain?
Is it a federal state or local institution?
Do they hold adults or juveniles?
How big is the facility?
What is the jurisdiction? Do they hold inmates from other jurisdictions?
How is the facility constructed? Linear or pods or dormitories? Does the facility utilize direct or indirect supervision?
Have the inmates all been convicted of a crime or are there inmates awaiting trial? Does the facility hold some other population such as undocumented migrants?
Are there any treatment programs in the facility? Job training? Substance abuse? Mental health services?
How are health care services provided?
How are the other daily needs of the inmates met? Food? Hygiene? Laundry? Religious services?
Are there different wings or sections for different populations? For example men and women must be housed separately. But what about other groups? Veterans? Gang members? Mentally ill inmates? Other groups?
Is there a structured daily routine? If so what is it?
How are entry level staff recruited and trained?
On what basis are entry level staff evaluated and/or promoted?
If you are interning with a community corrections program you could discuss the following:
Is it a federal state or local agency? Adult or juvenile?
What is the jurisdiction of the agency?
How are the probationers or parolees assigned to the agency? In other words when a defendant goes to court for a charge is tried convicted and sentenced to probation what happens next?
How big is the agency? How many probation or parole officers are there in the office?
How many probationers or parolees does the agency supervise? What is the average caseload for a probation or parole officer?
What are some of the more common charges offenders on supervision are convicted of?
How are cases divided up between the officers? Geographically? By type of offender (drug offender sex offender etc)? Evenly so all officers have the same size caseload?
How often do probation or parole officers make contact with their clients? Are there levels of supervision that require more or fewer contacts?
Is there an intensive supervision program?
What do the probation or parole officers do to supervise their caseload? Home visits? Drug tests? Job counseling? Electronic monitoring? What circumstances justify the use of these interventions?
How are entry level staff members recruited and trained?
On what basis are staff members evaluated and/or promoted?
If you are interning with a court these are some of the issues you could discuss in your paper:
Is it a federal state or local court? Describe the jurisdiction. Remember jurisdictions can be geographic but they can also refer to the types of cases the court handle.
Is it a specialty court like a drug court?
Who is the judge or judges in the court? If there are several judges is there one judge that takes a leadership role in the administration of the court?
How many cases are scheduled on an average day? Or how many cases are on a docket on an average day?
What kind of hearings does the court conduct? First appearances? Pleas? Trials? Competency hearings? Sentencings? What happens in the hearings the court conducts? What are the issues or legal questions that get resolved?
Describe the court schedule. Are certain kinds of hearings held on certain days?
Describe the relationship between the various court officers. Is it an adversarial relationship or cooperative? You might want to read up on the concept of the “courtroom work group.”
Who are the other support personnel in the court? What are their roles?
What does the court clerk do? What is the clerk’s role outside of the actual courtroom?
When the judge makes a ruling or gives an order whose job is it to make sure that ruling gets carried out? How does that happen?
If you are interning with a law firm you should probably discuss:
Whether the firm deals with civil or criminal cases or both.
Whether the firm represents clients in federal state or county court.
Areas of expertise or specialization such as family law business law arbitration tax law immigration law environmental law disability law or some other field.
The role of the lawyers in your office. For example do they only handle cases that are going to court? How often do they settle out of court? Do they give legal advice to people and firms to help them remain law abiding? Some other role?
How big is the firm? Are there partners? How does one become a partner? Is there a tiered partnership structure?
If it is a small firm tell me about the lawyer or lawyers. Where did they go to school? What made them want to be lawyers?
The office staff. What are their roles?
The importance of legal research. What is it? Why is it important? How does one conduct legal research? How is legal research different than academic research?