Sydney Towle '22 interned at the New Hampshire Supreme Court during the 2021 winter term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.
During the winter term of 2021, I had the honor of interning at the New Hampshire Supreme Court under Justice Hantz Marconi. Justice Hantz Marconi is currently the only female justice serving on the court, which really drew me to the internship and inspired me throughout my experience. Justice Hantz Marconi’s law clerks, Nicole and Erin, were also both female, so it was great to be a part of such a powerful and knowledgeable team of women. Throughout the internship, I completed a variety of tasks and assisted the law clerks with a range of cases, covering both criminal law and worker’s compensation. I also participated in weekly meetings with the law clerks and was given the opportunity to attend virtual oral arguments when they were held.
During my internship experience, I mainly worked on case briefs and perfecting the facets of a case brief; the facts of a case, the legal argument at hand, opinions, dissents, etc. This took a good deal of research on my part, as I have never written a case brief before and was unaccustomed to the specific format of case briefs and the exact facts to include. The law clerks gave me a lot of directions and were always willing to answer any questions I had relating to the writing and articulation of the briefs. After writing a few briefs, I began assisting with the creation of questions for Justice Hantz Marconi for oral arguments. This involved reading the cases in detail, annotating them, and coming up with succinct and detailed questions for either the state or the defendant. I definitely learned how to be more inquisitive and creative throughout this learning experience. Additionally, I was given the opportunity to work on the court’s Justices’ Bios project, in which I edited and added to the entire list of Justices’ bios that will be hung inside the court for visitors to see.
One of the most positive parts of my internship experience was the ability to learn from the law clerks, who have attended law school and have been in a similar position to myself once before. This was particularly valuable because they were always willing to help me and answer any questions I might have had, having only recently graduated themselves. Another positive aspect of the experience was the ability to work independently. While I have always been an independent worker and am not a procrastinator, it was nice to have a virtual setting where I could schedule my work assignments on my own time. The final most positive part of my internship experience was the opportunity to work in a professional setting. It was inspiring going to oral arguments and watching the Justices on the court, as well as the state and defense attorneys, work so passionately for a case that they really care about. It impacted my perspective on a career in public service and enhanced my desire to help other people.
Working at a public policy organization, I have learned that I have a desire to serve the public and aid people who might not have access to the proper legal resources. Watching the Justice and law clerks work so diligently reminded me of why I want to pursue a career in the public policy sector. The knowledge and experience I gained during this internship were invaluable to my future professional endeavors. I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to pursue a career in the legal field before this experience, having only taken a few classes specifically relating to law, but this internship helped solidify my desire to attend law school. It also granted me the ability to refine my research and writing skills, especially by giving me experience with Westlaw, the legal database containing all casework and statutes. I will definitely use all of this knowledge when I pursue law school and have to complete similar assignments. I would like to thank the Nelson A. Rockefeller center and (insert internship fund) for supporting my internship experience and allowing me to pursue an opportunity that enhanced my professional development and inspired me in my future endeavors.
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.