By: Trevor Larned Stark
During the summer after my second year of law school, I interned with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in their Appeals Unit.
On the first day at the unit, each intern was handed their first brief assignment and assigned a mentor. Then we got right to work reviewing the trial files and developing our briefs. Over the course of the summer, the Appeals Unit hosted several workshops that explained the entire appellate brief writing process, from how to read the transcripts and take notes to crafting a persuasive argument. Our mentors were there to talk us through the issues, give feedback, and support us at every turn. Working in the office was an incredible opportunity to learn from some of the most gifted appellate attorneys in the Commonwealth and develop my legal writing and research skills.
In addition to working on appellate briefs, the Appeals Unit also assists other departments’ Assistant District Attorneys by responding to questions of law as they arise during the course of trial. As an intern, I had the chance to assist in research for some of those issues. We were encouraged to spend as much time as possible in the courtroom observing trials, which was an incredible opportunity to witness some amazing trial advocacy.
The office also hosted an incredible summer series where they brought in speakers from the specialized units, including homicide, juvenile, and the crime strategies bureau, to talk about their offices’ work and their career paths. We also were able to visit the Boston Police Crime Lab and learn about how evidence is handled, processed, and stored.
The best part of my experience with the Appeals Unit was the opportunity to argue my first brief before the Massachusetts Appeals Court. I was certainly nervous, but the Appeals Unit was so incredibly supportive and helpful. When the time came, I knew that they had prepared me to succeed.
Trevor Larned Stark is a 3L Day student from Washington State. He is interested in criminal and appellate practice. He plans to move to Colorado after graduation and sit for the bar there in July of 2023.