November 17, 2016
Since the day she first entered Susquehanna University, Jacqueline Keenan '16 aspired to become a lawyer.
In the summer of 2015, she got an in-depth look at the legal system by interning for Judge Michael H. Sholley of Pennsylvania's 17th Judicial District Court of Common Pleas. Her internship was obtained through the university's Arlin M. Adams Center for Law and Society.
On a daily basis, Keenan observed the different types of cases that arise in court. "I got to see how a jury trial is conducted differently than a hearing, and so on. I also worked with a lot of cases that involved kids." Some of them involved Children and Youth Services and the Susquehanna Valley CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates).
"By having the ability to look through case files and speak to people involved, like the lawyers, court reporters and judges, I got a more well-rounded idea of how things actually happen in the court system."
As a political science major with minors in history and legal studies, Keenan structured many of her classes and extracurricular activities around preparing for law school. "I took a lot of law-based classes. I also was a member of the mock trial team, which gave me a good base for understanding how trials function, so I understand a lot of what is going on when I'm in court."
Keenan advises all students who are considering graduate school to do an internship. "Having an internship is a great way to build a résumé and see if this is really what you want to do with your life. My internship was a really valuable experience to affirm that going to law school is what I want to do."
Keenan is currently attending law school at Washington and Lee University School of Law.