Michelle Aggacid (’15 Criminology, Law and Justice): Intern at PAWS Chicago and Public Defender’s Office

by User Not Found | Apr 20, 2015

“Get hands-on experience in a field you like to make sure that it is something that you are passionate about.”


Spring ’15 Criminology, Law and Justice, Intern at PAWS Chicago and Public Defender’s Office

Michelle Aggacid – UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences senior – is completing her second internship to help her determine if she wants to go into law.

To help Michelle transition into the professional world, Michelle enrolled in LAS internship courses. The courses gave her resources to find other internships, to edit her resume, and to learn how to be professional while gaining academic credit.

Michelle’s first internship was at PAWS. “As an intern, I familiarized myself with animal laws, and as a volunteer adoption counselor I took care of the animals and did administrative work,” said Michelle. “I had to make sure people understood the adoption contracts. I also networked with people at events. I even got a chance to interview the only animal welfare attorney in Chicago.”

Michelle’s current internship is in criminology. “I am interning in the Public Defender’s Office in sentencing litigation,” stated Michelle. “I go to jail and interview our clients, who are criminals, to write a report on their side of the story. Then, I see our clients at the court date and talk to the attorney. I am also in contact with organizations, like the Department of Family Services and hospitals, because we need those records to validate the type of argument that the attorney is going to make.”

This internship also helped Michelle sharpen her communication skills. “I need to have a firm argument when speaking to the judge and when writing a report. There can’t be any loopholes.”

These two internships have helped Michelle decide that she does want to go to law school. “Going to my internship every day gives me this rush. I am still interested in animal welfare, but I would also like to work with people that don’t have the help they need.”

“Get hands-on experience in a field you like to make sure that it is something that you are passionate about,” concluded Michelle.