This month YouthWorks would like to recognize the Public Defender’s Office for their generous support for our program. The office has been an extremely active partner to the YouthWorks program, providing financial support, excellent internship opportunities, and rewarding career exposure activities for program youth.
Led by Jeff Adachi, California’s only publicly elected Public Defender, this city department provides legal representation to over 25,000 people charged with crimes each year who are unable to afford an attorney. YouthWorks interns who are placed in the office often comment on the important and interesting work of the department. According to one past intern, she “would definitely recommend it (the internship) to those interested in law because of the opportunities to go to court and just to be in a legal environment.”
On July 14th, a group of SF Youthworks interns and staff visited the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office as a career exposure event. To recognize the department for their generous support of our program, SF Youthworks presented Jeff Adachi and his staff with a “Program Sustainer” award during our visit. After receiving our award, Jeff Adachi and his staff indicated that they have appreciated the extra help provided by our interns, who have assisted their office with a range of duties from administrative tasks to interfacing with clients during drop-in hours.
During this career exposure event, Youthworks interns had the opportunity to speak with other staff members who provided advice and feedback about entering the legal field. The interns also visited the San Francisco Superior Court in order to observe a court case and speak with one of their judges, Bruce Chan. As a native San Franciscan, Judge Chan told our interns about his experiences growing up as a young person in the city and as a past public defender. Moreover, Judge Chan encouraged our interns to develop an open-minded and compassionate nature in order to become effective lawyers.
At the conclusion of our event, one of our interns remarked,”This was cool..I’ve learned so much!” Youthworks staff would like to thank Jeff Adachi, Kathy Asada, Judge Bruce Chan and the staff at the San Francisco Public Defender’s office for hosting us and sharing their stories with our interns.