Post by: Kyle Grabulis
It goes without saying that these past few months have been some of the strangest that many of us have ever experienced. As a type-I diabetic, the initial outbreak of COVID-19 throughout the United States had been concerned for my health, and I initially decided to work remotely with the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) as a result. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work remotely and sincerely appreciate the flexibility of the AGO in accommodating my health concerns, especially since so many other interns were left with nothing in the midst of the pandemic.
My initial remote work with the AGO was with the Criminal Trials Division. Working remotely, I collaborated with the attorneys through email and telephone calls. To my surprise, I was able to work quite effectively from hundreds of miles away through the use of remote technology; briefs and work product were able to be transmitted effectively, and since so many resources exist online for the practice of law, it was almost like I was there in person getting work done. In working remotely, I found that regular telephone calls with attorneys I was working for to be critical to success. Where it is normally so trivial to stop by an attorney’s desk when you are working in person to ask a question or two in passing, such a luxury isn’t available through remote work. Thus, preparing several questions ahead of time and being able to collaborate through a 10-15 minute telephone call was paramount to my success as a remote intern.
Eventually, I had decided that it was time for me to come down to Alabama to intern in person. I arrived at this decision after watching the COVID-19 numbers daily, and noticing the decline in both infections and death rates. Ironically, however, the day before I packed my car to make the 11 hour trip, I received a phone call from the AGO informing me that someone in the Criminal Trials Division was just diagnosed with COVID-19, and asked if I wanted to continue working remotely. However, I was adamant now in my decision to work in person, and informed them that I would still be coming down. The AGO was accommodating enough to move me to a different division just in case.
When I arrived in Alabama, I began working with the Capital Litigation Division. I spent the final weeks with the AGO here, but even though I was here in person, much of my work was no different than working remotely. This is because there was a recent outbreak of COVID-19 in Alabama, and specifically in the Montgomery area where I am interning, and many attorneys have chosen to work remotely as a result. Thus, even coming down to work in person, I was not able to escape the challenges that the pandemic has created for the legal environment. Despite this, I was still able to work with attorneys effectively in Capital Litigation in my closing weeks, and I am thankful for the people at the AGO I was able to work with, and their flexibility given the strange times we are in.
This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Intern. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.