DLS intern Sareena Khatkur
DLS intern Sareena Khatkur

Before I started working at DLS this summer, I was both excited and terrified.  I was excited to be able to pull my nose out of my textbooks and to finally begin doing some practical legal work.  And yes, as clichéd as it may sound, I was excited to be able to help people that really needed it.

"Where does the terror come in?" you may be thinking.  How was I, the girl who would definitely lose her head if it wasn't attached, going to be able to assist clients with their very real and often serious legal problems?  I ramble and lose my train of thought when speaking to friends - I did not want to imagine what I would sound like standing in an intimidating courtroom, in front of a frowning judge.

To my amazement, I was fine.  By the time the third week rolled around, I had already completed and won my first criminal trial.  With the help of review counsel, I had come up with a case theory and was prepared.  Despite bullying from the Crown, I was confident that we had a good shot.  This confidence shone through during my submissions, and not only did I not provoke a fit of uncontrollable laughter in the judge, but he actually agreed with me!  Who woulda thought.

As much as I had thought I did not have much to offer my clients, the truth is that I did.  They had turned to DLS, often after having countless other doors closed in their faces.  My desire to help and put in time and hard work definitely put them leaps and bounds ahead of where they would have been otherwise.  And admittedly, despite what I thought, I really hadn't forgotten everything I had learned in law school… and some of it actually came in handy!

My summer at DLS definitely helped to instill confidence in me.  Confidence in myself and my skills, but also in my choice of career.  During some difficult times over the past two years, I occasionally would ask myself why I chose to pursue a career in law.  Working at DLS has served as a reminder.