Summer Intern Chronicles: Connor Gillen from UMass School of Law

Interning with General Counsel at Barnstable County Sheriff's Office...
Connor Gillen is a student from UMass School of Law interning with the Barnstable County Sheriff's Office. (Courtesy of Sheriff Cummings)

My name is Connor Gillen and I am from Halifax, MA. I am currently pursuing my Juris Doctor degree as a second year law student at the University of Massachusetts School of Law. This summer, I have been fortunate enough to intern at the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office, working as a legal intern in the General Counsel’s Office.

While at Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office I have worked with Donna Buckley, the Sheriff’s Office General Counsel. She has taught me many things and has helped me grow as a law student and future attorney. I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with such a knowledgeable professional. As a legal intern, I have had the opportunity to do legal research and analysis on a number of topics as well as work on matters involving legal correspondence, contracts, policies and procedures, audits and compliance, litigation, and legislation. My favorite project of the summer dealt with legislative research related to health and safety protections for correction officers while on the job. As part of this project, I have had the opportunity to discover and follow pending legislation, which if passed, will afford corrections officers and other public safety employees enhanced health and safety protections.

While interning at the Sheriff’s Office I also learned about the Massachusetts Public Record Laws and the Massachusetts Statewide Records Retention Schedule. These are areas that I would not have learned about in my law school classes, and the information I was taught will give me an advantage once I graduate and become a practicing attorney. When I return to school this August I know that I will be better prepared for the upcoming semester due to all of the new skills I have acquired. I have become far more efficient in legal research, which allows me to better analyze a legal question. I have also learned a great deal about requesting and providing legal information to other attorneys and members of the general public. 

Growing up on the South Shore, I have always come to Cape Cod. It is a place I have fell in love with at a very early age. Throughout college and now while in law school I have worked in Bourne, and if the opportunity arose after graduation to be hired as an attorney anywhere on Cape Cod, I would definitely move here to pursue my legal career.

This internship has changed my professional outlook. I went into law school thinking that I only wanted to work in private practice, but working at the Sheriff’s Office has opened my eyes to other opportunities and I am now considering working in the public sector after graduation.


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