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Student Spotlights

Shannon: Law

In the Office of International Affairs, Shannon Havlicak reviewed criminal cases from countries to see if they qualified for mutual legal assistance from the U.S. or if they had enough proof to order the extradition of a fugitive living in the U.S. Learn more about her experience in the U.S. Department of Justice.

What was your internship experience?

In the Office of International Affairs I worked specifically with two teams: the Incoming Mutual Legal Assistance team and the South America Extraditions and Outgoing Mutual Legal Assistance team. On both teams I reviewed many criminal cases from countries across the globe to determine if the requesting countries qualified for mutual legal assistance from the U.S. or if they had enough proof for us to order the extradition of a fugitive living in the U.S. This determination was based upon the standards set forth between the treaty held between the U.S. and that specific country. If they provided sufficient evidence, I would then draft subpoenas to obtain pertinent information from persons or organizations based in the U.S. to assist in the requesting country's case or I would begin the process of drafting documents for the extradition of fugitives living in the U.S. to force them to stand trial for crimes they committed abroad.

What was the most useful thing you learned from your internship?

I learned to treat every assignment as though my entire career were riding on it. It is easy to give less than my full effort to an assignment in order to get it done quicker or to move on to a new or more interesting case sooner, but I came to realize the importance of always putting forth your best work no matter how small the task may seem. At the end of the day, each assignment I submitted to the attorneys had my name on it and eventually would be submitted to the courts with their name on it and I could not afford to make mistakes when they were trusting me enough to allow me to assist them in the important work they do each day.

What professional skills did you develop in your internship?

Law school in general strengthened my reading comprehension skills, allowing me to read through hundreds of pages in cases quickly, while maintaining a firm grasp on the content. My legal writing class was especially useful, as it taught me to write the way lawyers do--brief, concise, and in accordance with the rules of the Bluebook.

I believe I developed my organizational and communication skills the most in this internship as I was constantly completing assignments for five to six attorneys at a time, who each had their own differing preferences when it came to the manner in which I wrote and submitted each assignment.

Would you recommend this internship to other students?

It is a great experience where you can participate in the same work done by each of the attorneys in the office from day one.

Shannon Havlicak