As a First-Year Fellow, Zoe Schwartzman ’21 interned at the District of Columbia Superior Court under the mentorship of Judge John M. Mott ’81. The following is an excerpt from her final report.
This summer, I worked as a judicial intern at the District of Columbia Superior Court in the Chambers of the Honorable Judge John M. Mott. The DC Superior Court is the trial court for the general jurisdiction of DC and houses many judicial divisions, such as the Civil, Criminal, Domestic Violence, Family Court, Probate, and Tax Divisions. Judge Mott is currently assigned to a Civil II Calendar, on which he handles a variety of civil actions including personal and property torts, vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, and landlord tenant cases.
In my role as a judicial intern, I was responsible for drafting judicial orders on civil case motions for the judge, which the law clerk, my supervisor, and the judge would review. My final project was a ten-page judicial order dealing with novel issues of law in a defamation case. I also wrote dozens of weekly case briefings to help the judge prepare for his Friday hearings. In addition to substantial writing projects, I was able to observe different court matters, ranging from the hearings and several vehicle trials that Judge Mott presided over, to murder and carjacking trials in the criminal division, to domestic violence protection order hearings.
This internship experience has confirmed my interest in going to law school and possibly pursuing a career as a lawyer. I want to take more classes at Dartmouth that focus on law, legal history, and justice to explore my interest in the law further. I also hope to participate in an internship or job in the future in which I can delve deeper into other types of law, possibly criminal, environmental, or human rights law. Finally, I plan to employ the effective legal writing styles and methods of framing an argument in my academic writing. I would be remiss if I did not extend a large thank you to the Rockefeller Center staff who made this program possible and supported all of us in our fellowships.