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GIVING BACK

Ian Mickelson, 2015 recipient of the Audrey J. Harris Summer Internship Award, interned at the WI State Public Defender's Office - Investigation Unit.

Major: Legal Studies and Criminal Justice Certificate Program

Goal: To attend Law School and eventually practice criminal defense

Over the summer I have been interning at the Office of Public Defenders Investigation Unit in Madison, WI. At the attorneys’ request, investigators will read the criminal complaint, do all of the discovery, interview defendants, witnesses, and alleged victims, and complete all other investigative responsibilities. The investigators are there to find all relevant evidence that can be used in the defense of the client.

I have learned much more than I anticipated going into my internship. The senior investigators are extremely knowledgeable and taught me how to conduct a proper investigation. I have had the opportunity to hone my interviewing skills, which is a constant learning process. I have also been able to watch the whole process of the criminal justice system from the perspective of the defendant. Working in this environment over the summer has given me the chance to work and communicate with a diverse group of people from various socio-economic status, ethnicity, and racial background. As an intern investigator at the Office of Public Defenders, I have had a chance to communicate with various law enforcement agencies which helps with a well-rounded experience in the criminal justice agency.

I want to publicly thank the family of Ms. Audrey Harris for the generous scholarship that I received. I was able to focus all of my attention to my internship experience due to the financial help. I will always remember the gift I was honored with and one day hope to give back to the community to help future students with their education.