Intern Insights: Winter 2018 (2 of 2)

This quarter, PPPA students have been hard at work in the community through their internship placements. In this final post, we share updates from three more of our interns.

Gabi Gutierrez (L) and Autumn Nguyen (R), pictured with Glenn Glover, Chief Investigator at the Pierce County Department of Assigned Counsel.

Autumn Nguyen
Major: Law and Policy ’18
Placement: Pierce County Department of Assigned Counsel

“Interning at the Department of Assigned Counsel has been an amazing experience for me. When I first became a part of this internship I did not know a lot about how our Criminal Justice System function daily; let alone ever even set foot in a courtroom! This internship allows me to see all types of career opportunities and the more I learn the more inspired I am to apply for law school. I have met a lot of people in this internship that has given me a lot of good advice and opportunities to better myself as an individual as well as a future law school student studying criminal law. Working at my internship I do see that our Criminal Justice System is very broken, but it only inspires me more to finish school and to be able to start making a difference in our community along with others who share the same passion.”

Gabi Gutierrez
Major: Law and Policy ’18, minors in Human Rights and Sociology
Placement: Pierce County Department of Assigned Counsel

“Interning with the Department of Assigned Counsel has been more than enlightening. I am currently enrolled in an American Criminal Courts class as well, and it’s amazing to be able to attend class, learn about the key concepts and roles of major actors within our Criminal Justice System, and understand that this internship is allowing me to be part of that process. … [T]his internship gives great hands-on exposure to anyone interested in law enforcement or the legal field. The stories you become a part of are unlike any other, and the necessity for public defense continues to become ever prevalent… You sit with those accused of serious crimes such as murder or assault, and in essence it’s easy to want to vilify them. However, these are also the same individuals who have been constantly encouraging me to pursue a career in the legal field. I was floating between what type of law I am interesting in pursuing in law school, and this experience has undoubtedly ignited a passion for criminal law. Public defenders are known for being overworked and underpaid, and although this may be true, I’ve gotten to know many public defenders that say they wouldn’t do any other job in the world.”

Karla Vargas

Karla Vargas
Major: Law and Policy ’19, minor in Business Administration
Placement: King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office

“My experience at the PAO has been an eye opener, I was able to attend a murder trial. I was able to see and experience what the criminal justice system looks and works like. It is just like the books I read in class but even better. I have met with a lot of people that have showed and taught me a lot about the system. It is one thing to read and hear about it, it is another to see and live it. This internship has helped reassure me that I do want to go to law school. I really want to make a change in the community and one way I can make a change is by being a prosecutor.

Charles Kerber

Charles Kerber

Major: Law & Policy ’18
Placement: City of Tacoma, Office of Equity and Human Rights
“The City of Tacoma’s Office of Equity & Human Rights is developing a new protected class (similar to race, color, sex, disability, etc.) based on source of income discrimination for tenants in the Tacoma area.  Currently, tenants using various income sources such as Section 8 HUD Vouchers, other public rent subsidies, Social Security Income, alimony, child support, etc., face hardship in qualifying for renting some housing.  In many cases, landlords do not wish to count or deal with the other sources of income in qualifying tenants for housing. The State of Washington also recently passed House Bill 2578, sponsored by Rep. Marcus Riccelli, D-Spokane, which would make it illegal for a landlord to deny housing to a present or potential tenant relying on income from such programs as Social Security, veterans benefits, and housing vouchers.  This measure is currently waiting for the governor’s signature. My interest in law and public policy has continued to grow as I have become intimately involved in the processes to get law crafted and passed.  Experiences with the Tacoma community have impressed upon me the urgency for continued involvement and civic responsibility.”
Three other PPPA students who also completed internships this quarter are Jarrod Beauchamp at the Milton Police Department, and Arwa Dubad at the Pierce County Department of Assigned Counsel.