As I mentioned in the previous post, last Friday was my last day at NYPI! It was very bittersweet. I feel very connected to the organization, since I started interning there in the winter. Since the organization is so small, I have gotten to know all the people who run in from having the opportunity to work in Civil Court in the Manhattan office and in Criminal Court in the Brooklyn Office. Everyone at NYPI is so helpful and dedicated to the organization. It is really inspiring to see how people from all walks of life have come together to perform civil service duties for their community. Mediation seems like an dispute alternative that is almost too good to be true! A service that offers professional neutrality, service and support…for free!

I have also gotten very close with the Criminal Court mediators. I see many of them on a weekly basis, and communicate with them every day. It was really sad to say good bye to them. It was also a little sad to leave the mediation cases in the hands of the new interns. I had worked on some cases from beginning to end, and almost felt like they were my babies.

As I was returning home from my last day, I thought about all the areas I had improved in over the summer. I had begun my internship basically terrified of cold-calling and speaking to clients directly. I felt much more comfortable being behind the scenes and managing th cases, instead of being the face of mediation. By the end of the summer, I picked up the phone effortlessly and looked forward to speaking to clients! I had also started the internship a little nervous about communicating with ADAs and Defense Counsels. I felt very inadequate compared to them РI had no legal training and very little knowledge about how the criminal justice system worked. However, I found that I was able to have lengthy conversations with them in a little over a week! I learned that many attorneys, despite the stereotype of being cold, heartless and power-hungry,  all cared very deeply for their clients and wanted to see them receive justice at their court date. It made me consider law school as a post-graduate option Рsomething that I had never really given serious thought to.

I realize though that despite my successful strides, I still have a couple things I need to work on: I need to work on stepping out of my comfort zone more. I fear failing so much that I usually stay in my niche – I realize that that is not how to be successful. Everyone I admire professionally has had to step outside of their comfort zone a thousand times to get to the position they are at today. It really begins with accepting failure as an option and not giving up. That is a more existential concern that I have to master and I will start by stepping out of my comfort zone on a daily basis.

As I mentioned in my last post, I would not have been able to have this experience without the Dickinson Internship Grant. This summer was an amazing experience. I am so grateful for everything Dickinson has done for me and for the support of the Career Center! I really look forward to next summer and hope that I will have just as great (if not greater) experience than this!