Spotlight on 2012 Grantee, Lauren Schweizer

Lauren Schweizer is originally from Connecticut. She attended the University of New Hampshire as an undergraduate. This summer she is working with the Office of the Public Defender in Santa Barbara.

Why did you choose law school, and why USF in particular?

I always wanted to be a lawyer, and USF has a great, supportive community and an emphasis on social causes.  I wasn’t sure what type of law I wanted to practice going into law school, but I knew that I wanted to use my degree to help others.  USF offers opportunities to do just that, as well as an excellent education.

What kind of work did you do this summer or what type of projects did you work on?

As a law clerk, I assist the attorneys in researching their cases; this could mean writing a memo about 4th amendment violations, the competency of the defendant, or looking up an opposing expert witness. I am also handling some 1203.4 relief cases (expungement cases), where I contact the client, get their story, and write the motions for relief.  Then I work with an attorney to file the motions and they argue them before the judge.  Additionally, I get to watch trials and attend court doing arraignments, bail hearings, etc.  It is all very hands on, and I am learning a lot!

What do you find most inspiring about the work you are doing or the organization you are working for? 

The public defenders inSanta Barbaraare all good lawyers, and they care very much about the cause and their clients.  I am inspired by how kind they are; to each other, to their clients, to me, and to everyone they interact with in the courtroom.  It clearly takes a special person to be a criminal defense attorney, and I hope I can live up to their high standards.

What would you like to do following law school?

Hopefully get a job as a public defender!





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