By: Holly McCabe
In the summer of 2019, I spent my summer as an intern at the Ohio Justice and Policy Center. I was thrilled when I was offered an interview, and then so much more elated when I was offered a position.
I was excited, but I had no idea what was truly in store for me for that summer. One of my first assignments was to work on a case for Beyond Guilt client, who had served decades in prison and was more than deserving of release. We learned we would get a hearing – this felt triumphant.
Unfortunately, the client passed away due to cancer before he got his chance to be heard. I felt defeated. I knew I could only let it serve as fuel to my passion to continue this line of work.
My summer at OJPC was incredible. OJPC does a great job at selecting interns (and staff) because I met some of the greatest people that I’ve ever known that summer. I made a bond with these other students and staff, some of whom I still have a friendship with to this very day – future and current lawyers that are truly passionate about advocating for others in this line of work.
I recently committed to volunteering on another project with OJPC to work on cases involving incarcerated juveniles. My time at OJPC served as a huge steppingstone in my future career as a lawyer. I was able to enhance my legal research and writing skills, get hands-on practical experience and make important connections. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to have worked with the fierce attorneys and other law students at OJPC. I am a rising 3L now, and this summer I will be interning at the Hamilton County Public Defender office.
My advice to new interns at OJPC would be to really take advantage of this incredible opportunity, enjoy every minute of it and truly immerse yourself into the work. Try out something new, and don’t be afraid to work on a project that you think you might have no idea about. Utilize your resources wisely, the other students will be immensely helpful to you, so put your heads together and be the best honey badgers you can be.