Pathways to Success

Garden Spot High School

Taylor Martin – Criminal Justice Internship

Hi! My name is Taylor Martin, and I intern at the New Holland District Court with Judge Johnathan Heisse. I was able to intern during semester 1 and, fortunately, the internship was extended into semester 2 as well. Within this internship, I am able to sit in on court hearings like traffic citations, landlord-tenant hearings, civil complaints, and criminal cases. In addition to that, I get to work in the office and help the clerks with filing and any daily tasks they have for me. This internship has provided me with such valuable experiences and has greatly helped me to determine a career path that I was unsure of before.

My daily tasks vary as some days there is more court going on than others. I often file, process online payments, pull cases for the next day, make the schedule, and help the Judge out with anything he needs. When there is court, what I see can range anywhere from a traffic ticket to a murder hearing. One very exciting and the once-in-a-lifetime experience was when I got to go to the Lancaster City Courthouse and hear the preliminary hearing for a murder that had happened right here in New Holland. I got to see the witnesses testify, the attorneys question them, and the man being accused who sat just a few feet away from me. The whole hearing took about three hours, but it was so fascinating to experience. Continually, I also got to go to DUI Court in the Lancaster City Courthouse which is a centralized court for all DUI cases across the county. It is fast-paced, and many attorneys are coming in and out with their clients to see the Judge. During that day I was able to go to the probation room and speak with the officers there and meet many different attorneys who gave me good advice. The experiences I have been provided with because of my internship are amazing and have helped me gain a better perspective on my future in many ways.

Furthermore, one of the best parts about an internship is the connections you build with the people you meet. I have gotten phone numbers, emails, and tons of great advice from many different people throughout the span of my time there. District Attorneys, Public Defenders, Police Officers, Parole and Probation Officers, etc. are all careers that I see at my internship and people who took the time to speak to me. I have tons of contacts for these people and will forever have them if I ever need to reach out if I have questions down the road. One woman, Ellen Bolen, from Victim Witness Services at the Lancaster Court of Common Pleas, I was able to meet and shadow a couple of times. She invited me to come to Domestic Violence Court in Lancaster City with her later in April. I am very excited about that experience and it wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t make that connection with her. Relationships are so valuable within your career field and an internship will significantly help you to build some.

I have said it before and I will say it again, do an internship! They are so valuable in more ways than one and you will not regret it. I have learned so much about my career field and what I want to do with my life that I was so unsure of before. I knew I wanted to go into criminal justice, but I didn’t know specifically what. After seeing the attorneys and what they do and speaking to many of them I have discovered that it is something I would be interested in. I have created a plan for myself and my future is much clearer as a result. I am so excited for what the years will bring because of my internship and what it has taught me.


jhackman • April 18, 2022

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