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Blake Hulnick '09 Experiencing Life of an Attorney as Intern in King's County DA Office

By Lisbeth Redfield
Posted July 9, 2007
Blake Hulnick '09 (Richfield, Conn.) is anything but an average, errand-boy intern. Working in the office of the King's County District Attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y., Hulnick doesn't fetch anybody coffee; instead, he gets to do exactly the same job as the lawyers and paralegals beside him. He is in the Early Case Assessment Bureau (ECAB) Department, the part of the office which screens, categorizes, and arraigns every arrest that takes place in Brooklyn.

The ECAB is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week (hours shift, but every employee has to cover a weekend day) by a team of lawyers, paralegals, and legal assistants. These workers take an arrest report, call the police officers who made the arrest, the victims, and any noted witnesses to make up a screen sheet and write up a complaint which is lodged with a judge. The interns, Hulnick explained, are given a week of training and then put on the job at a similar footing to the professionals in the office.

He enjoys the autonomy of working in the ECAB as well as the work itself. Hulnick has previously held positions in the office of a New York Councilwoman and a Congressman from his native Connecticut but, while these offices were interesting, they did not encourage personal drive as much as the ECAB does. "I'm actually learning something right here," Hulnick said of his internship, stressing the importance of being able to do his own work. "We're working as equals with the lawyers."

While many of his peers opted for research, Hulnick was one of more than 20 Hamiltonians who received college funding to conduct a summer internship. Work experience is becoming more and more necessary for college students but many opportunities are unpaid and require students to pay their own housing and living expenses as well as working for free.

Thanks to alumni and parent donations, Hamilton students can apply for funding to support them while they work in a field of interest with an organization that cannot pay them. Though Hulnick works in an unpaid internship, he received a stipend from Hamilton's Joseph F. Anderson Internship Fund, given in honor of a 1944 Hamilton graduate who served the college for 18 years as vice president for communications and development. The fund in his name provides individual stipends to support full-time internships for students wishing to expand their educational horizons in preparation for potential careers after graduation.

Hulnick is nothing but positive about his summer. He likes doing his job and "working on my own," and he enjoys living in New York City. He sees the internship as "an experience I'm never going to have again" and urged his fellow students to investigate both internships and funding. "A lot of people don't know that this funding is available," he explained. "More people should apply for it."

Hulnick is, not surprisingly, a member of Hamilton's Mock Trial team and has participated in debates as well as written for the Spectator. A government major, he hosts a radio show and will be in Washington, D.C. next semester on Hamilton's D.C. Program. 

-- by Lisbeth Redfield


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