Working on homicide cases in Texas

Law student Shannon shares her internship experiences of working with a private criminal defence attorney in Texas.

Which company did you do your internship with? 

I was based in Lubbock, Texas, with Richard Wardroup - a private criminal defence attorney.  

What did your internship involve? 

The first week of my internship I attended the Rusty Duncan conference in San Antonio and was able to network with many lawyers. The next two weeks were spent preparing for a double homicide trial. This included reviewing all the discovery in the case, creating a timeline of events, summarizing police interviews, and working with the defence team to formulate a plan. I then spent two weeks attending the trial and I learned so much during that time. Once the trial was over, I started working on a forensic evidence manual for lawyers, editing the manual and researching case law.  

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What was the most valuable thing you learned? 

I learned how much teamwork it really takes to represent a client in court. And the sheer amount of preparation that goes into a trial.  

Did you face any significant challenges during your internship? 

My biggest challenge was probably the emotional side of things; it's a heavy burden knowing that you’re playing a part in trying to get someone their freedom.  

What was the highlight of your internship? 

The highlight for me was absolutely the people I got to meet. I have made amazing connections for life and I'm so grateful for that.  

How did BCU help you in undertaking your internship? 

The course was extremely helpful in preparing me for the kind of tasks I was given. For example, writing briefs and motions, and preparing summaries.  

Do you think your internship has benefitted your career prospects? 

Absolutely, 100 per cent. I learned so much during those eight weeks that I have used ever since in all my studies and further internships. I know this experience made me so much better at my job.  

Do you have any advice for students starting a law internship? 

Give it 100 per cent and go out of your comfort zone. Sometimes the tasks that scared me the most ended up being the ones that I learned the most from.  

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