Behind Bars: A New Perspective on the Criminal Justice System by Stephen Metcalf
“Recognizing the need for high quality representation for
indigent criminal defendants, the Criminal Justice Clinic was
founded in 1960. Our goal is to ensure that persons charged with
criminal offenses have access to top-notch legal services. We
provide them with energetic, innovative and dedicated attorneys.
As part of the Criminal Justice Clinic, the Investigative Internship
Program was founded in 1985 and continues today as an integral
part of the success of our clinical program. Our Investigators work
closely with clinic attorneys in all aspects of pre-trial preparation.
In exchange for our interns' assistance, we offer a hands-on
educational and working environment.”
-- Georgetown Law
From the end of May through the beginning of August, I
served as an intern investigator for the defense clinics at
Georgetown Law in Washington, D.C. I interviewed witnesses,
took photographs at crime scenes, wrote investigative
memoranda, visited clients at jail, and provided strategic
recommendations to attorneys in order to help them prepare
their defense cases. More specifically, I worked with the Juvenile
Justice Clinic, so a portion of the cases I investigated were those
in which minors were charged with crimes. I struggled with the
moral issues associated with defending clients who were guilty of
the crimes with which they were charged. I learned, however,
that situations are often more complicated than they first appear.
I realized how important the efforts of defense attorneys are in
our society, but I also discovered that this is not the field in which
I can see myself in the future. I value the time I spent at
Georgetown Law for the experiences I had there and for helping
me further clarify the direction I intend to take in life.
• Situations are often more complicated than they first appear.
• Some people are born into very unfair circumstances.
• Some of those same people do not want help.
• Everyone deserves a fair trial.
• Criminals are often stereotyped as terrible people, but many are kind and
• Truth and justice are not the same thing––at least not in the court of law.
• Morals and ethics are also not the same thing.
• The South is an awesome place to live.
• Networked with Centre alumni
• Read spiritual memoirs and autobiographies in preparation
for an independent study this school year
• Took the Strong Interest Inventory and explored potential
• Learned to cook