This month during spring break, I went downtown to shadow Jamie Perez. Jamie is a lawyer who works for the Safe and Stable Families Project of Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation. Not only did I get to shadow Jamie but the other lawyers working there as well. Instantly, I felt welcomed because everyone was so kind.
Jamie told me what we would be doing the whole day, and I was excited. The first thing I learned was what a protective order is. A temporary protective order is given after paperwork is filed and the person requesting the order goes before a judge. After this I went to the court room and met the judge who was in charge, Judge Houston. She went through a list of petitioners and responders to see if they were present.
The week of my job shadow was also National Crime Victims Rights Week. To mark the occasion, there was a mile walk and speeches scheduled. Unfortunately we did not walk because the wind was heavy and it was very chilly outside. I did get to hear some survivors’ stories, and I was very moved at their strength. Three words that are important to important to survivors and the people who help them are : strength, resilience and justice.
When I got back upstairs, I got to shadow Lilli Crowe as she listened to an intake and wrote the legal documents about what happened and what the person wants. After hearing an intake, I shadowed Nilufar Abdi-Tabari. I watched her E-file paperwork that had just been filled out requesting a judge grant a temporary protective order. The judge then gives the person a court date, and in that time they have to “serve” or summon the other party to be present on that day as well.
My day was very fun and educational, and even though I would like for my future job to be in the psychology field, I was able to see how both jobs can come together. I had so much fun that I may go back during the summer to help out.
Jade, 16, attends Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School who never thought about being a lawyer until this experience.