Summer Work Experience at Maryland Office of the Attorney General

by Sami Alsawaf, Class of 201alsawaf7

When I first started law school, I was very interested in health care and health insurance. I spent my 1L summer at the National Women’s Law Center in DC, and for my 2L summer, I wanted to see a different side of insurance. This summer I worked at the Maryland Office of the Attorney General in the Insurance Fraud Division.

As luck would have it, it was one of the best job experiences I ever had. I knew going in that trials are nothing like you see on TV, but personally, I found real trials more exciting than what you find on ABC on Thursday night. Trying to follow the prosecutor’s line of questioning to see where he would end up; watching the defense attorney discredit a witness in subtle questions—every move is calculated to achieve a certain result. Every day I learned something new—not just about insurance, but about criminal law, the criminal justice system, and trial tips and strategies. I learned how to think outside the box. What is the best evidence to support a specific element of the crime? How can you show that someone acted negligently, if there was no one around to see the act? Thinking critically and trying to get inside the mind of a jury is essential to winning a case.

In between working and watching trials, I also had the chance to explore downtown Baltimore some. I lived just blocks away from the Inner Harbor, where I would spend my Sunday mornings running along the water front. The city has a culture all to its own, and each neighborhood has a unique vibe. There were plenty of top-notch restaurants and great places to shop. There were always events happening as well—art festivals, concerts, block parties. I am thinking about going back to Baltimore full time, and after my summer, I know it is a great place to live.

I am excited to finish my final year of law school, but I will miss working at the Office of the Attorney General. The people who work in criminal law love what they do, and it shows. The passion and the fire to ensure that justice is served is infectious, and it made me want to work to work to serve justice too. The people in my office were welcoming, instructive, and went out of their way to make sure I had a great experience and learned about criminal justice. Because of the way my office took me under their wing, I am now considering a career in criminal law. Justice—it’s right in the name of the criminal justice system. I have always wanted to work to make sure everyone has a fair chance, and this summer opened my eyes to a way to achieve just that.

To learn more about our student bloggers, click here.