“This experience has shown me how the system really works,” says Angela, a history major who is considering a career in law. “I had a notion of how things work but being able to get a hands-on experience has made it a lot clearer to me.”
And while this experience has been invaluable in terms of practical knowledge gained, the fact that Angela is working in the homicide division has also allowed her to wrestle with more philosophic aspects of the law and justice.
“I've always believed in a system of criminal justice that focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation, and I wanted to see if my beliefs still held true when confronted face on with defendants, the crimes, and the victims,” says Angela.
“I wanted to see if my morals and my political views aligned when I was actually in a high pressure situation,” she adds. “When you’re interacting on a daily basis with death and its aftermath, you realize how complicated everything is. I wanted to be able to know that I truly believed what I stand for, and I didn’t think I would be able to do that unless I had personal experiences.”
A native of Pembroke Pines, Fla., Angela first started thinking about her internship while still in high school, when she followed the trial of Fares Mustafa. In 2014 Mustafa was sentenced to 100 years for fatally shooting a man and critically wounding the man’s girlfriend during a break in.
“I was able to come to see part of the trial. I saw Coonrod [the female victim] testify against Mustafa, which was quite a powerful experience,” recalls Motte. “I think that seeing this woman in front of me in so much pain was quite impactful on me.”
Angela’s advice for students considering an internship is to be on the lookout for funding.
“It is so uncommon to find a paid internship,” Angela says. “In these hard economic times, a lot of pressure is placed on students to work, but funding helps to relieve some of these burdens.”
Angela received funding through the The LILAC Summer Internship Funding Program, specifically the Alison B. Macdonald '95 Internship Fund. This fund provides support for an internship for an undergraduate student, with a preference for an internship with a law firm or legal organization.
After she graduates from Bryn Mawr, Angela plans to take a year off to earn money while she decides between law school and pursuing a Ph.D. in history.