Connor Miyamoto ’15, with support from the Scott Stephen Morris ’86 Internship Fund, is pursuing his interest in law this summer by interning at the Ventura County Public Defender’s Office in California. Public defenders traditionally represent individuals who cannot otherwise afford an attorney. As Miyamoto noted, “The attorneys at the Ventura County Public Defender’s Office share a common goal: to assist [impoverished] members of the Ventura County community by providing the most sound legal representation as possible.”
According to the Ventura County Public Defender’s Office website, the office is legally bound to only supply representation to individuals who qualify financially. Thus, individuals seeking legal representation there must prove financial eligibility by providing the office with information on their income and assets.
The most common types of cases addressed by the public defender’s office are criminal defense and guardianship. Miyamoto is working as a volunteer law clerk, which allows him to shadow an attorney throughout the day. Shadowing gives him the opportunity to learn a lot about criminal defense and guardianship cases as well as general court proceedings, including motions, hearings and jury selections.
Miyamoto, a creative writing and economics double major, said he is considering pursuing a career in law after he graduates, but that prior to this summer he had not had any formal exposure to the day-to-day work of an attorney. Thus, this internship is providing him with a taste of the legal world, which will hopefully help determine his post-grad plans. Furthermore, Miyamoto concluded, “I wanted to be a part of the Ventura County public defender team to gain experience in a foreign field, but also to be a part of a larger mission directed at improving the lives of others in the community.”
Connor Miyamoto ’15 is the graduate of the Groton School, Mass.