When Sarafina Ramalho didn’t get her first choice in her externship, it turned out to be a blessing.
Ramalho was among several summer externs in the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Colorado Springs, Colorado who were able to rank which departmental units from which they could serve their externship. She specifically applied to this office, because she was driven to join law school to help other, especially women.
While she initially wanted to serve in the special victims’ unit (SVU), she was placed in the juvenile unit, which also included involvement in the SVU.
“Being placed in a unit that I had not originally wanted to be in helped me realize to not focus all my attention and passion on one thing. Working with juveniles helped me realize a new “to you, because you new know how it can change your perspective and lead your career down a new path.”
Her externship also helped her to write more efficiently and effectively, as well as to know when to ask for help, which also assisted her in meeting new people. In fact, Ramalho said she enjoyed her externship so much that she accepted a position with the same office for the summer of 2022 and possibly a full-time position once she graduates in 2023.
For students who may be wondering if an externship is right for them, she offers this advice:
“I found that tackling law school was one hurdle, but actually working for an office and having to represent yourself and your school can feel like a lot of pressure. If you go into an externship with an open mind, being willing to learn, and an eager attitude, you will be just fine. Just take it one day at a time and you’ll eventually find yourself fully immersed in your job and realizing that you can see yourself doing this for the rest of your life.”
Interview was conducted in Summer 2022.