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Co-op Spotlight: Isabelle Garofalo

Office of Massachusetts attorney general

The Criminal Bureau at the Massachusetts Attorney General's office allowed Isabelle to strengthen her interest in public interest law and legal advocacy on behalf of marginalized groups.

Isabelle Garofalo profile
“Seeing lawyers in the public sector specifically also gave perspective on inequality, as oftentimes prosecutors will take up cases where victims wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to afford quality legal counsel.”
-Isabelle Garofalo, Human Services and Criminal Justice

Co-op Term: Spring 2023
Position: Criminal Bureau Co-op
Employer: Massachusetts Attorney General Office

The environment at AGO (Attorney General Office) was one that was warm, friendly and inviting making the co–op very enjoyable for Isabelle. The “open-doors” approach to the office was reflected by all her co-workers and superiors which affirmed for Isabelle that she enjoys a collaborative workspace. Specifically, Isabelle and the other non-legal intern worked very well together. Isabelle and the other intern assisted at the National Cyber Crime Conference, hosted by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. They drove up together to Norwood, Ma where they were able to attend sessions led by an FBI agent about the Joint Terrorism Task Force. They learned about various forms of domestic terrorism and how the legal and law

enforcement fields respond to it. Along with the other intern, her supervisor Marsha was incredibly helpful throughout her entire co-op. Marsha provided her with a plethora of information regarding her hiring process and what she looks for. She additionally encouraged me to keep pushing herself out of her comfort zone. 

Isabelle had a wide variety of everyday tasks. Her tasks ranged from working with programs such as ScanWriter for financial investigations, and doing trial preparation tasks for attorneys. She also assisted with investigations, meaning that she transcribed and analyzed audio evidence or entered relevant financial data into Excel. She additionally took over some paralegal work by contacting police departments and courts for records. 

Isabelle’s human services classes were essential in terms of application towards her co-op. She worked the front desk one to three times a week where community members were welcome to come and file criminal complaints. Many of the visitors were part of homeless or mentally ill populations. Many were distraught as they believed they were victims of a crime, and had already been going through different places in the system to report issues. In this context, she was able to apply knowledge from her Human Services classes to de-escalate many of these guests and allow them to feel heard. She found this experience, as mundane as it might be, to be very meaningful and further add to her understanding of the intersection between human services and the criminal justice system. Almost on the daily, she interacted with community members who were often suffering from homelessness, disability, or mental health issues. At AGO she strengthened her interest in pursuing public interest law and legal advocacy on behalf of marginalized groups.

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