Summer Job Diary: Aspiring Prosecutor Gains Courtroom Experience
Gaganjot Batth ’18, president of Loyola’s South Asian Law Student Association, is spending her summer as a law clerk in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Sexually Violent Predator Unit. Prior to joining the unit, she interned in the District Attorney’s Hardcore Gang Unit and participated in both the Byrne Trial Advocacy Team and the Poehls/Hobbs District Attorney Clinic. She plans to pursue a career as a prosecutor.
How did you land your summer job?
I landed my summer job through Symplicity, Loyola’s job-search website. I was looking for a law clerk position at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and came across one with the Sexually Violent Predator Unit.
How did Loyola help you on your path to the DA’s office?
The faculty at Loyola helped me extensively. They were always willing to review my resume and go over possible interview questions. They truly made me feel well-prepared and confident when I walked into my interview.
What is the most interesting part of your job?
There is always something new and challenging to look forward to everyday, especially during trials. In my first week, I sat in a criminal trial. I learned so much while sitting next to my supervisor during the two-week trial; it really gave me the hands-on experience that I wanted. I helped with courtroom exhibits and asked my supervising DA questions regarding the case.
What has been your most challenging assignment thus far?
The most challenging assignment that I have received is reviewing multiple boxes of evidence and summarizing reports psychologists submitted regarding violent sexual predators. This task required me to pay attention to detail and look for variations in the reports in order to determine if a criminal is likely to engage in an unlawful sexual act after they are released from prison. Piecing hundreds of reports together and summarizing the important parts for trial is a tedious task.
What new legal skill(s) have you acquired during your summer job?
I strengthened my critical thinking skills and increased my knowledge of substantive law and legal procedure by attending court regularly.
How has your Loyola education helped you make a difference in your placement?
I never realized what a large alumni network Loyola has until I began my law school journey. The network truly helped me at the DA’s office. Having several DAs from Loyola has provided me with a level of comfort that made it easier to connect with the attorneys in the office.
What LLS courses have you found most helpful to your position?
The courses that I have found to be most helpful to my position are Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, the Poehls/Hobbs District Attorney Clinic and the Byrne Trial Team. Without these courses, it would be harder for me to follow along in court and complete the tasks given to me on a daily basis.
In what additional ways has Loyola helped you map your career path?
When I first began law school, I knew that I wanted to be a criminal prosecutor. Loyola solidified this belief and provided me with the stepping stones to further my goal. Throughout my law school career, I had countless opportunities to speak with professors and alumni who have experience in criminal prosecution. All of these individuals provided me with great advice that will help me advance my career.