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GIVING BACK

Lisa N. Xiong, 2012 recipient of the Audrey J. Harris Summer Internship Award, interned with the Wisconsin State Public Defender - Madison Trial Office (Client Services Unit).

Majors: Legal Studies, Political Science, and Sociology with certificates in Criminal Justice and Asian American Studies

Goals: Law School to obtain a JD/MSW

This summer, I had the wonderful opportunity to intern at the State Public Defender - Madison Trial Office with the Client Services Unit. Client Services' primary function is to show the Courts that the client whom is being represented is more than the offense that was committed. This task is achieved by interviewing the client and collateral witnesses to discuss factors in the client's life that may have influenced the offense(s) examined. My primary role is to conduct interviews with clients and construct a social history. A social history is a report that can be submitted to the Courts for consideration during the sentencing phase that can cover topics such as the client's up-bringing, alcohol and other drug abuse, relationships, education, finances, and their mental health. In addition to constructing social histories and conducting interviews, I have also had the opportunity to see court proceedings, tour correctional facilities, and to really see the inner workings of the criminal justice system.

The Madison Trial Office has provided me with a wealth of knowledge in all areas of the criminal justice system. The staff and attorneys are very passionate about their careers and have made great strides to help me maximize my experience as an intern.

I am extremely grateful to be a recipient of the Audrey J. Harris award. This award not only helped to support me through my internship, but also reinvigorated my passion to pursue a career in the criminal justice system.

Lastly, I would like to thank the family of Audrey J. Harris, the Criminal Justice Certificate Program, and the State Public Defender - Madison Trial Office for making this an unforgettable experience.