Notes from the Field: Ester Cross '15

Rockefeller Center-funded interns reflect on their experiences as part of our "Notes from the Field" series. Click here to read more about the Rockefeller Center's Internships program. To read the entire series, click here.

Student Intern: Ester Cross '15 

Internship Organization: Civil Rights Division with Massachusetts Attorney General's Office – Boston, MA 

How would you describe your employer in one paragraph? What’s the elevator pitch? 
The Civil Rights Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office enforces state and federal laws to correct civil rights abuses and prevent future violations. The Division handles discrimination cases in support of vulnerable Massachusetts populations. 

What are your specific responsibilities in the organization? 
As an intake intern, I interview members of the public who complain about possible civil rights violations. I gather information pertaining to their cases as well as information relating to the entity against which the complaint is made. Following initial findings, I work with paralegals or attorneys to take further steps, if needed, to develop the case. I am also working on some long-term projects. I have assisted with a review of police complaints handled by the Division, and I am now finding and compiling data for an amicus briefs to be filed in a marriage equality case. 

How did you feel on the first day of your internship? 
From the first day of the internship I was aware of the historically imperative work being done by the Civil Rights Division. One of the very first assignments I received was to research about the health benefits and economic savings associated with providing contraceptive coverage to women. 

What is your favorite part of the internship so far? 
I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from leading civil rights attorneys. The attorneys and paralegals in the Division are always prepared to guide and support interns to a better understanding of cases, legal concepts and precedents. 

What do you hope to achieve by the end of your internship? 
Since I started with the Civil Rights Division, I have learned a great deal about law, the processes involved in building cases, and the workings of a law office. I have also learned a great deal about the many ways in which the government can help the needs of its citizens. I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge and understanding of law, as I plan to pursue a future career in law. 

What have been some practical lessons you've learned in the day-to-day life of your internship?
Frozen food is a life saver; the gym is too crowded from 5-7 p.m.; and public transportation is very convenient!