Dane County Courthouse

Internship Location: Madison

Organization Type: Local Government

Policy Areas: Criminal Justice, Health

Over the summer, I worked at the Dane County Courthouse as a judicial intern for the Honorable Julie Genovese. The courthouse serves as a trial court for the fifth district’s largest county, presiding over all civil, criminal, probate, juvenile and traffic cases within Dane. The county is currently experiencing a backlog of cases stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the previous suspension of jury trials. As a result, the closure of pending criminal cases remains a high priority for the court. Part of my work as an intern was to evaluate case trends via the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (formerly CCAP) to assist in the expedition of case closure in other branches and Wisconsin courts. My research consisted of gathering data from individual branches and conducting interviews with court officials to identify courtroom practices that would facilitate a decrease in pending criminal cases. I also observed a variety of criminal, family, and civil cases in court. Through this process, I learned of various ways in which data analytics are implemented into judicial practices. The individual summary reports I created allowed me to have a better understanding of Wisconsin state laws and how they are applied within the court system. I feel very fortunate to have expanded my knowledge of the public sector through this internship, and my desire to pursue a legal career has been solidified. I anticipate that the generation of public value I witnessed from the court will be a catalyst for many decisions I make in the future.