The Paw Print

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The Paw Print

The Paw Print

A Reflection on the LPS Internship Program


Over the past four months, the Law and Public Service program’s seniors have started work at their first of two internships across Monmouth County. These internships cover either law and the legal systems or public service expertise, and students have worked with law firms, county organizations, and even nonprofit organizations with whatever they may need. Some of the internships from this semester included the Monmouth County Courthouse, Monmouth County Offices, Mercy Center, Move for Hunger, Emergency Housing and Advocacy Program, and Casa Freehold. Students learn how to communicate with clients, file paperwork, and research cases, as well as many other skills that can transcend the LPS program. Through these internships, LPS students can not only gain experience working in a professional setting but also learn valuable information about charitable organizations and the legal system that they can apply in their search for post-graduate success. Now that the first round of internships has come to an end, many LPS students are reflecting on their experiences and how they have grown since September.

For the internships, students will leave school one day a week after lunch and stay at their assigned location from 1-3 pm. None of the internships are farther than 25 minutes away, so transportation is not a major issue. Seniors can only leave on days that they have their two LPS classes (Business & Contract Law and Senior Seminar) back-to-back, which varies for each student depending on their schedule. If a student cannot go to their internship one week, they will normally end up “doubling up” another week and going twice, if their schedule permits. 

For the most part, LPS students seem to have enjoyed their internships. Even if they weren’t doing the most demanding of tasks, most of our work has helped our community in one way or another, which is very rewarding in the long run. In return for their work, many students were able to develop both personally and professionally and feel as though they have gained valuable knowledge and skills from their internship. 

Joshua Ricatti, an intern at the Mercy Center, found that his work opened his eyes to problems within his community. As he explained, “I feel that my work was really important… For me, it was a time of personal growth and learning. It exposed me to poverty for the first time in my life. Until then, my understanding came solely through reading and media. It opened my eyes to things.” He also said that his work at the Mercy Center made him “more compassionate and understanding as a person”, and improved his “standard skills that come with any social experience, like communication and teamwork.”

As for Olivia Collura, an intern at the Monmouth County Courthouse, she too felt that her internship was making a real difference in her life. One of Collura’s most memorable experiences was watching a case go through family court. She “witnessed the entire process, including what lawyers do to defend their clients, how evidence is incorporated, and how a judge comes to a verdict” and she believed that “seeing a realistic court case in real life is something … everyone could benefit from.” Specifically, Collura felt that these cases “enhanced [her] knowledge of topics [she] had already learned and provided new information about the legal system…” She also went on to say that she learned better time management and professional behavior through her work in this internship. 

For my internship, I worked for an organization called Casa Freehold, which provides food kitchens, immigration lawyers, ESL classes, and other vital resources to Hispanic immigrants in the Freehold area. My work at Casa Freehold has not only helped me to develop my Spanish speaking and interpersonal skills but has allowed me to see what an impact the organization makes in my community. As my internship partner, Ava Lovarco recalled “I felt a real connection with my community” while we were at Casa. The work done at Casa Freehold feels truly meaningful, as I help people get the food and resources they need for themselves and their families to live their lives without as much stress. So, not only has my internship taught me how to behave and work in a professional environment, it has taught me more compassion and empathy, and has solidified my desire to help others in the future in any way that I can. 

In upcoming months, students will be switching their internship locations, so those who were working in the law/government sector will work in public service and vice versa. This allows LPS students to see multiple different kinds of professional work. It will be interesting to see what students learn in their new positions, and how the internship program further develops!

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