Due to the Covid Pandemic, quite a few of my plans had to be scrapped because of travel restrictions and heath protocols in other countries. I applied to upward of 10 different internship programs and unfortunately none of them worked out. While in Tallahassee for the summer, I found a local criminal defense attorney who needed some office help. I had done work like this in the past so I jumped at the opportunity! The office I work at is The Law Office of Kevin Alvarez P.A. who specializes in criminal defense and state appointed cases. Due to the crime demographic in Tallahassee, it tends to be felony drug charges, assault and battery with a deathly weapon and petty theft. I can say it keeps me on my toes!
Working with Mr. Alvarez, I work a regular 8-5 shift and I run his office for him. With a crazy schedule and running an individual practice Mr. Alvarez manages all cases in his workload and appears in court or over Zoom for every client. While he is not in the office – even while he is- I file all paperwork both hardcopy and online formats, answer phone calls, and conduct research for numerous cases in our load. So far I have reviewed hours of body cam footage to compare to transcripts, found discrepancies in testimonies and depositions, discovered evidence that proves clients innocent or that proves the police misconstrued evidence and broke chain of command. One of my favorite cases currently is an Aggravated Assault and Battery in which our client was wrongfully accused!
I have only worked for Mr. Alvarez for a few short months, since June, and I plan to continue my service with him until the end of next spring. He is completely accommodating to my schedule and is a compassionate and devoted boss whom I love to work for. I am gaining such valuable research experience and academic knowledge that I plan to bring forward into my career in International law.
Being a part of the Social Science Scholars 2021 Cohort has been one of the most invigorating and challenging experiences I have ever been a part of. Participating in a group with individuals as like-minded yet different from myself allows for a diverse, respectful, and intellectual discussion in which everyone has their own opinion and can say exactly what they think without judgement. I would give anyone a high recommendation for joining this program. It has not only given me financial support to pursue my scholastic endeavors, but a healthy environment where I can explore my interests and create solutions to be a part of the change everyone wants to see.
Mackenzie is a sophomore from Saint Augustine. She is seeking a B.S. in international affairs with a concentration in political science, as well as a B.A. in English literature, media and culture with a minor in psychology. As a member of the 2021 FSU Social Science Scholars program, she hopes to intern in Washington, D.C. or New York during the summer with Homeland Security. Mackenzie is also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Women in Pre-Law, Phi Alpha Delta, the national pre-law fraternity and Garnet and Gold Global Honor Society. She also is a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. Mackenzie is currently on the Dean’s List. She plans to participate in the Honors in the Major next fall, focusing on legal aspects of domestic terrorism. Following graduation, she plans to attend law school and to focus on international issues and disputes.