Professional Dos and Don'ts

Professional Dos and Don'ts

I'm at a payphone trying to call home

All of my change I spent on you

Where have the times gone? Baby, it's all wrong

Where are the plans we made for two?

-Maroon 5

 

Happy April, and may you feel the transition into spring come your way with a Maroon 5 quote that I remember listening to in high school.

 

*Note: Does anyone know if Maroon 5 is their own band or are they just groupies to Adam Levine?

 

Having entered into my last full month of TWC, I am starting to really reflect on what this semester has meant to me. Professionally, I have realized the importance of networking and making connections, and turning that into a new career. But, along the way I have had my fair share of mess-ups.

 

So, let’s sit around the campfire and get ready for some stories:

 

#1. Food in the work place

My third day at my internship site, I got some fresh work on a new case, and it was going really well. My boss and I were both very impressed with the quality of the work (not to brag, but it adds more to the story). It was the end of a long day, and I decided to run into his office and thank him for the work. I forgot I had a cheese stick that day and thanked him as I continued to rip my stringy cheese stick. I left his office content, until I heard him say, “Uhh Pedro, come back a minute.” I turned around and noticed he was pointing to the ground. I looked down a moment and realized that my cheese stick string laid on the ground in his office. Embarrassed, I immediately picked it up and apologized. He then said “Well, that is why you have internships, so you know to avoid these things in an office setting”.

 

Lesson:Don’t bring food to office places that aren’t your own space or the kitchen

 

#2. Being late on the important days

At my internship site, it is (usually) very relaxed and I typically come in right on time. So, one morning I decided to come late (9:30 a.m. to be exact) and walked in to see nine attorneys standing around my desk. Apparently, the documents I had been working on for the past week were the only copies available for the trial that day. Coming into my second week on the job with nine angry attorneys late to trial was not my best move.

 

Lesson: Always be on time, no matter how relaxed your office is.

 

#3. A little work extra never killed anyone

It was the end of the week, with 15 minutes to spare until I could go home. As I was packing up, someone needed to have a huge stack of papers copied into the v-drive.

 

*Note: The v-drive is a Word document savings bin that we all save legal documents to in OAG.


I worked as fast as I could and it took me an entire hour. Upset at the extra work I had to do that day, I left it on my desk and did not give it to the attorney. The next morning, I opened my work email to find that I had several emails that my work was not complete. The attorney I was working with then requested to see me and asked to get all the documents and make sure the assignment was complete in the next 10 minutes. I finished it on time, but dropped all the documents on the ground and still handed in the stack. The judge later at the trial was upset at the lawyer for being so unorganized.

 

Lesson: Always start and finish every assignment you get.

 

Q: What is the purpose of this post?

 

A: To understand that no matter how silly, tedious, and or simple an assignment is, do it to the best of your ability. Give all that you have and nothing less.

 

TWC Student Spotlight: Mikaela Meyer

 

Mikaela is a student, Tomodachi participant, future lawyer and overall boss at the workplace. This is how her department at OAG is going thus far!

 

My internship at the Office of the Attorney General has been nothing less than top-notch. I have been working in the Juvenile Specialty Courts division, which works to reduce recidivism by focusing on a common initial offense: truancy. This section of the Attorney General takes each offense on a case-by-case basis and truly works to help the child. Thus, there is no one "catch all" punishment. Rather, kids are evaluated on an individual basis and found specialized treatments. I really appreciate this about D.C.'s justice system as a whole: we look to help the individual and not just prosecute an offense.

 

Advice:

Do not go into this process with a set internship in mind. Be open to the suggestions, and you will be surprised what a great fit your internship will be. There are no bad options, and the experience will be life-changing, regardless of where you are placed.

 

Read Pedro's previous blog posts here

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