Keuka College’s Jasmine Downs ’26 is an aspiring lawyer, and her first Field Period® internship at the Schenectady District Attorney’s office helped put her future career into perspective.
“This experience helped me understand the process of trials and court procedures,” said Jasmine, a criminology/criminal justice major from Schenectady, who sat in both county and city courts. “I was able to learn many concepts used within courtrooms, and every day, I sat in on different cases from bail hearings to sentencing.”
These experiences led Jasmine to be named the First-Year Field Period® and Experiential Learner of the Year. The award is given annually to a student in recognition of individual achievements involving experiential learning.
“Field Period is meant to be purposeful,” said Instructor of Criminal Justice Michael Smith, who nominated Jasmine for the award. “Jasmine demonstrated her ability to interact and redefine challenges. Her reflection summary and supportive documentation provided her insights, feelings, and analysis as she navigated her daily experiences. She absolutely applied purpose to the College’s Field Period program.”
Because she was so intentional, Jasmine said she got exactly what she wanted from her Field Period.
“I’ve wanted to be a lawyer for so long and this hands-on experience helped me understand what my career will be like in the future,” said Jasmine. “I met court officers, police officers, three judges, and criminal defense lawyers. I was able to talk with all of them and ask questions. This internship helped me better understand the process of trials and other court procedures.”
Additionally, Jasmine learned such concepts as:
- How the court and the criminal justice system work,
- Courtroom terminology and procedures,
- How trials start and end,
- Ways attorneys question people during trials, and
- How police fit into the court system.
Jasmine adds her Field Period was “amazing,” and that getting the chance to intern with so many role models was something she will not forget.
“One moment I will carry with me was probation graduation day,” said Jasmine. “It honored people who have been on probation and have put in the tremendous amount of work it takes to graduate from this program. Because of this experience, I know I want to work on the prosecution side or in the DA’s office rather than practice criminal defense. I can’t wait to see what my future holds.”
In addition to Jasmine, freshman Molly Ryan, a social work major from LeRoy, N.Y.,was also nominated for the award.
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