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Choosing not to be a lawyer

In October 2014, I applied for my first round of co-op. My co-op prep course had prepared me for this: my resume was polished, I knew what to wear to interviews and how to conduct myself, and I had looked over job listings and learned about the various Criminal Justice agencies that I was applying to. My plan was to do three co-ops: one at a prosecutor’s office, one at a state law enforcement agency, and one at a federal law enforcement agency.

The day applications were to be sent out quickly arrived. Within the first hour, I received two invitations to interview. The next day, I took the Green, Red, and Silver lines to the Moakley Courthouse, where I interviewed for an unpaid position at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.

My goal was to learn whether or not I wished to attend law school, and if I could see myself as a prosecutor.

Within the next week, I had three different offers on the table. I chose to accept a position in the Major Crimes Unit of the USAO. This, I hoped, would expose me to a vast array of crimes, such as bank robberies, child exploitation, immigration, and tax evasion, as well as give me greater insight into the judicial system. My goal was to learn whether or not I wished to attend law school, and if I could see myself as a prosecutor.

I had a great experience on co-op! Although I did a lot of administrative office work, I had the opportunity to work with attorneys to create exhibits for a trial, and I was encouraged to go downstairs to the courtrooms to observe proceedings, such as the Tsarnaev trial. In addition, I was able to meet and connect with many federal agents, who had worked on the cases being tried.

Although I learned a lot, I have decided I do not want to go to law school. The aspect of staying in an office all day, and the nerves of going to court is not that appealing to me anymore. I have, however, learned that I would like to go into some type of law enforcement (hopefully federal). Working with federal agents on cases, and seeing what they do has helped me come to this decision. I am on on co-op again this spring, this time with the Drug Enforcement Agency, which I hope will solidify this career choice!

This blog post was written by Dodi Feldman a Criminal Justice major with a minor in International Security Studies. You can contact her at

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