Every year, more than 800 smart, ambitious volunteer law clerks – mostly law students – work alongside prosecutors from the District Attorney’s Office, getting hands-on experience in the world of criminal law.
Helping get the right volunteers in the right assignments is the job of Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator Regina Mayo, seated above. The office’s recruitment unit, which includes supervisor Pam Sullivan, standing above, and Catherine Cortes, gets roughly 1,500 applications every year from a variety of local and out-of-state – even international – law schools.
Mayo conducts outreach to law schools, closely reviews volunteer applications and helps determine where volunteers will be assigned among the office’s divisions and branch offices.
The law clerks perform a variety of work, including assisting attorneys in research and trial preparation.
“The students come to our office for a wonderful opportunity,” said Mayo, who joined the office in 1995. “I’m so proud to do this job. It’s about making a difference in the lives of the students and building their future.”
The application process requires each candidate to undergo a background check. Mayo also works with supervisors in the office to determine appropriate placements for the law clerks, depending on the applicants’ previous experience and career goals.
“The success of the recruitment program depends upon deputy district attorneys who work with the volunteers and mentor them,” Mayo said. “It’s so gratifying to see these young people develop a passion to make a difference in our society.”
Most rewarding, she said, is watching one-time student volunteers return to the office as prosecutors.
“You see them as students and then in no time it seems they are back here and have families and children,” Mayo said. “It’s so beautiful to see.”