Kennedy Parker, a junior majoring in Humanities-Prelaw, began interning with Judge Rosemarie Aquilina in the 30th Circuit Court over a year ago after meeting Aquilina when she spoke to her college law group, Empowering Women in Law MSU. After that meeting, Parker emailed Aquilina and expressed an interest in an internship.
“I jumped at the idea of obtaining an internship with her because she’s most definitely my idol,” Parker said. “I emailed her stating my interest in an internship. Judge Aquilina responded within minutes telling me that I had gotten an internship with her, and I was absolutely ecstatic. This was over a year ago and I’m still continuing the internship.”
“My favorite part of the entire process was getting to witness every court proceeding whether it was something as simple as an illegal concealed weapon or as extreme as murder. It was such a unique and unfathomable experience that I will remember fondly for the rest of my life.”
The internship came with unique opportunities and high expectations with many of Parker’s responsibilities being something that isn’t usually taught until law school. She wrote law documents, ranging from bench memorandums, 6500 orders, and motions to deny or withdraw. In addition, Parker organized case files into different categories, a task that challenged her critical thinking skills.
One of Parker’s hands-on responsibilities was during jury selection. She monitored jurors and instructed them what to do. Her work with the jury also involved distributing information binders detailing the legalities behind the case being presented to them. She also had the opportunity to monitor and manage the court zoom during trials, making sure there weren’t any disruptions and sending participants to the proper breakout rooms.
“My favorite part of the entire process was getting to witness every court proceeding whether it was something as simple as an illegal concealed weapon or as extreme as murder,” Parker said. “It was such a unique and unfathomable experience that I will remember fondly for the rest of my life.”
Parker began each day by arriving at the court at 8:30 a.m., buzzing in with Judge Aquilina’s court officials, and checking in with her supervisor. She’d receive an assignment, then head to court for the morning.
“Honestly, if I had to pick my least favorite part of the internship it would simply be the fact that I had to wake up so early in the morning,” Parker said. “I loved every aspect of the internship.”
The unique internship experience taught Parker many valuable lessons and she picked up several important skills such as learning how to properly cite cases, how to write a variety of different documents necessary in the legal field, how to instruct and work with jurors, and how to understand the intricacies of court proceedings.
“Most importantly, I was able to develop my critical thinking skills and expand my horizons as far as law knowledge goes.”
“Most importantly, I was able to develop my critical thinking skills and expand my horizons as far as law knowledge goes,” Parker said.
Though the internship proved to be more challenging and difficult than Parker had anticipated, it only grew her passion for the law. She plans to continue the internship through summer and the upcoming school year, while studying for the LSAT.
“I learned that I love law and that it’s truly so much fun as a result of the fact that something new is at hand each and every day,” she said.
Parker offers this advice for anyone seeking out an internship: “As someone who always struggled with anxiety, do not be afraid to get out there and get after it. The world has so much to offer as far as knowledge and experiences, so don’t let the idea of having to get an internship for school credit or the fear of reaching out to potential internship employers stop you. It’s one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had.”