FROM THE WEST SACRAMENTO NEWS-LEDGER — SEPT. 5, 2012 –
From the County of Yolo
Last month, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors honored 20 interns and volunteers currently serving in the Yolo County District Attorney’s office.
College students, law students, retirees or those looking for experience can volunteer in the District Attorney’s office anywhere from ten hours a week to full time; some volunteer for three months and some for years, reports a County spokesperson. The office asks for a minimum commitment of three months with legal interns agreeing to serve through the summer and fall. As with many departments in Yolo County, the District Attorney’s workforce has decreased by approximately 25 percent over the last four years due to budgetary constraints. The use of interns and volunteers has allowed the office to complete its work and has partially filled the gap resulting from a reduced staff.
Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig started the formal legal internship component of the program shortly after taking office in 2007. The program is very competitive, with 80 applications submitted from McGeorge and UC Davis law schools for five positions this year.
The legal interns are involved in a wide variety of cases, including misdemeanor and felony, reports Yolo County. A typical day for a legal intern involves drafting motions and memoranda of points and authorities and conducting research on complicated legal issues.
Beyond the legal interns, some of the other volunteers assist professional staff with clerical duties while others work with investigators, victim advocates and the information technology manager. Most volunteers are in college with hopes to become advocates or prosecutors. Some have just finished high school while others are retired.
One volunteer, Dorothy Pearson, is a retired police officer from the Davis and Sacramento Police departments. She works with the High-Tech Forensics Unit.
“The volunteer program has been a huge success,” said Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig in a press release. “The measure of success for us is when our volunteers feel an abiding conviction that they want a career in prosecution and a position in this office. I only wish we had jobs for all of them.”
Copyright News-Ledger 2012