April West

Intern at: Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia

Major: Managerial Economics

Minor: Political Science

Participated in: Fall 2016

Why did you participate in the Washington Program?
As a pre-law student, I knew that I needed to experience the realities of the working world as an attorney before committing to law school; I had to be certain that a legal career was right for me. I knew an internship that involved working alongside attorney’s everyday would give me the exact insight I had always hoped for, but what better place to get the full experience other than the political and legal hub of the nation!

Tell me about your internship – what kind of work did you do?
As a Civil Litigation Division Intern, I was assigned an assistant Attorney General supervisor who I worked closely with throughout the entire quarter. On a daily basis I was involved in trial prep, case filing, and legal research. Every time an attorney had to attend court, I went right along with them! I was able to experience pre-trial hearings, mediations, jury trials, depositions, and everything in between. I drafted summary judgments, subpoenas, memos, and discovery documents. I even had the opportunity to work with the general counsel of the Metropolitan Police Department! Even though I was an undergraduate, I was treated like a law student and given responsibilities like a lawyer.

Has your internship influenced your future plans?

I left DC with the total confidence I needed to further pursue law school after graduating from UC Davis. Although I did my best to immerse myself in the legal realm before this experience, the Washington Program helped me confirm the notion that working with people and serving the community are ideals I hope to uphold as a future attorney. My passion for the law skyrocketed and I owe so much of my assurance to my time spent in DC.

What did you do for fun in Washington?
Participating in the Washington Program was also my first time on the East Coast. I loved how everything was so close together and I took advantage of this aspect by traveling as much as I could. I spent weekends exploring Philadelphia, Gettysburg, Arlington, and so much more. I attended the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City and shopped in Times Square on Black Friday. When I was in DC, I took advantage of every free museum, art gallery, and historical landmark. I attended all of the UC Center’s Monday night forums and even had the chance to meet and introduce myself to Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer when he came to the center to speak to us!

What would you tell students who are considering DC?

I would tell prospective applicants that this opportunity is truly once in a lifetime. As undergraduate students, all we’ve really ever known is classes, studying, and more classes. The Washington program is such a rare chance to get a sneak peak of the “real world”. Now that I know what I have to look forward to after graduation, I’m more excited than ever to work hard and stay motivated to the end! If you’re on the fence about a certain career path, want to explore your major further, or have always been interested in a field of work; the Washington Program is your chance to full immerse yourself in that reality, just as it would be, should you choose to pursue that path in life.