The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: SARAH DRESCHER '20

Sarah Drescher '20 US Attorney's Office NY

Sarah Drescher '20 interned at the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York during the fall of 2018.

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Sarah Drescher '20 interned at the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (USAO-SDNY) in the Public Corruption Unit (PCU) during the 2018 fall term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

This fall, I served as an intern at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (USAO-SDNY) in the Public Corruption Unit (PCU). The USAO-SDNY represents the U.S. government and prosecutes criminal and civil cases in Manhattan, the Bronx, and several other counties in southern New York. The USAO-SDNY is among the most well- regarded federal prosecutorial offices in the country in part because of the volume of wealth, industry, and business traffic that falls within its jurisdiction; this results in many high-level cases brought in this district. The PCU prosecutes criminal cases in which government officials have undertaken acts of corruption, including bribery and fraud.

As an intern, I supported prosecutions and investigations by assisting attorneys and paralegals, including serving as a paralegal for a trial that involved corruption in the New York City Police Department. I worked closely with a team of attorneys in time-sensitive situations demanding high quality work. This work included drafting and serving subpoenas, organizing and updating government exhibits, handling the production of witness statements to defense counsel and the Court, and providing other support services to the prosecution team.

My time at the USAO-SDNY was primarily valuable because of the people I worked with, the office environment, and the responsibility I was able to assume. The collaborative yet competitive work ethic cultivated by attorneys and paralegals made the environment in which we worked both challenging and motivating. When I joined the team, I took my work very seriously, and I was subsequently rewarded for it by being given greater responsibilities. In fact, I was assigned to a trial team and served as a full-on paralegal when one of the paralegals initially assigned to the case had a conflict. The experience of working on this trial gave me an important understanding of what goes into a federal prosecution, both from the paralegal and attorney perspective. The trial experience prepared me for work as a paralegal, and it gave me a much greater appreciation for how trials are conducted, cases are structured, and justice is done at the federal level.

Being part of a team that worked to hold public officials accountable gave me a new and inspiring sense of purpose. This internship has been the most fulfilling experience I have had to date, and I plan on returning to the USAO-SDNY after graduation as a paralegal to continue contributing to the important work done by this office before attending law school. I eventually hope to return to the office as an Assistant United States Attorney, but until then, I want to pursue academic and other opportunities to help me cultivate the necessary skills for this career trajectory. My internship solidified my desire to pursue a public service career in a legal capacity, and I am so grateful to the Rockefeller Center and Mr. E. John Rosenwald, Jr. for providing funding to make this experience possible.

The Rockefeller Internships Program has funding for Dartmouth undergraduate students to help defray the cost of living expenses associated with a full-time, unpaid, leave-term internships in the fields of public policy, public affairs, and social entrepreneurship.

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