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Summer Work Profile: 2L McCune interns with Orange County DA’s office

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Second-year student Brandon McCune knew that he wanted to gain as much diverse experience as he possibly could in his summer internship. As an undergraduate, he was passionate about working to prevent sexual assault and human trafficking, and that is ultimately what pushed him to pursue his J.D. at Penn State Law.

After working with Penn State Law’s Career Services Office to get his documents in order to pursue internships, an outside opportunity through a connection of his roommate’s father came through. After one phone interview, McCune accepted a coveted position as an intern for the Orange County District Attorney’s Human Exploitation and Trafficking Unit.

Working exclusively with one attorney in the office, McCune’s experience included motion work, trial briefs, and analyzing and discussing evidence. He was also able to witness all stages of a criminal trial, from pre-trial to sentencing. The attorney he worked under exposed him to many aspects of the department, and always asked for his input. On his first day on the job, he began transcribing videos on a case in which he would end up becoming heavily involved – a case that goes to trial this month.

“Literally everything I did, I learned at Penn State Law,” said McCune. Courses like Applied Legal Analysis and Writing helped to prepare him for the internship. “For every case I had, I wrote a trial document,” he said. McCune also noted that he was grateful for the background that his Criminal Law course provided. “Having the knowledge really helped.”

McCune said that one of the greatest challenges was seeing every case objectively, and not getting too personally involved.

“It was heavy,” he said. “I saw a lot of really unfortunate and messed up things. But it was encouraging, because I now know I can handle just about anything.”

Even though the summer internship position was intense, McCune is grateful for the opportunity, and happy he did it.

“It was awesome. The best job I’ve ever had,” he said.

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