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Bergen County Prosecutor Creates Internship Chair for Law Students

February 15, 2010 – 
The Office of the Bergen County Prosecutor has announced the creation of a Legal Internship Chair for promising law students at both Rutgers School of Law–Newark and Seton Hall Law School. Students chosen for the Prosecutor’s Chair will work in the Office of the Bergen County Prosecutor and will be assigned to the Appellate and Law Section, where they will write legal briefs and argue cases under the supervision of practicing attorneys.

Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli noted, “We created this program because it will allow us to train the next generation of prosecutors, who will gain invaluable experience in the day-to-day realities of law enforcement. We could not better serve them than through this partnership with such outstanding and nationally recognized law schools right here in New Jersey.”

The program will focus primarily on summer placements which will allow students to fully immerse themselves in the life and duties of the Prosecutor’s Office. Students will engage in a variety of legal practices and learn, essentially, by doing.

Rutgers Dean John J. Farmer, Jr. remarked, “As a former Prosecutor, I am very excited about this program. The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office should be commended for its foresight in creating the Legal Internship Chair — establishing partnerships that serve justice is what Rutgers Law is all about — and this partnership will steep our students in the rewarding, but challenging, life of a prosecuting attorney. Prosecutor Offices everywhere should take note; the Bergen County Prosecutor has established a precedent that should quickly become an industry standard.”

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office is located at the Bergen County Courthouse, which will give students ample opportunity to observe and participate in criminal matters from arraignment to sentencing. Students will typically prepare the State's responding briefs in municipal appeals, Appellate Division briefs in appropriate matters, the State's brief in response to motions to suppress, engage in other trial related matters, and generally learn and experience the hands-on responsibilities and assignments of a day to day assistant prosecutor. The students will also be invited to attend a series of lectures, which will be presented by the various Bergen County Prosecutor units such as the Juvenile Unit, the Computer Crimes Unit, the Domestic Violence Unit, the Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit, and the Gang Unit. Additionally, prior to a student's first actual oral argument, supervising attorneys will conduct a moot court for the student, offering both critique and practical advice.

Dean Patrick E. Hobbs of Seton Hall Law School commented, “This is an exciting next step in our long and rewarding relationship with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office. Combining the practical with the theoretical is the hallmark of a Seton Hall Law education, and this program will allow our law students to serve the public while learning and applying the critical skills necessary to perform the demanding responsibilities of a prosecuting attorney. The skills that only real life experience can teach.”