Summer Jobs Snapshot: Getting a Head Start at the Committee for Public Counsel Services

Crystal Ortolaza, a rising senior at West Roxbury Academy, spent the summer interning at the Committee for Public Counsel Services Dorchester and West Roxbury Municipal Court Office through the BBA Summer Jobs Program.

Crystal Ortolaza, a rising senior at West Roxbury Academy, spent the summer interning at the Committee for Public Counsel Services Dorchester and West Roxbury Municipal Court Office through the BBA Summer Jobs Program.

Crystal has had a busy summer interning with the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) at the Dorchester and West Roxbury Municipal Court Office. Her daily duties and responsibilities include opening and closing cases, working with bail only cases, filing, scanning, and fielding phone calls. Crystal is not overwhelmed by her duties and instead explains that she jumps in and “fills any holes where I am needed.” Crystal’s internship is one of the 15 BBA Summer Jobs positions funded by the Boston Bar Foundation (BBF). The BBF funds these internships not only to open up opportunities for Boston’s youth, but to also provide an extra set of hands where they are needed most– in government offices, non-profits and legal service agencies.

“Crystal has been very helpful, answering phones and opening and closing criminal cases for the public defender’s office, among many other things,” says her supervisor, office administrative assistant Robin Allen-D’Abreau. “She is very detail oriented, which fits with the work we do very well. She is very smart and a great fit for our office.”

At CPCS, Summer Jobs students are given substantial responsibilities, and Crystal has shined with her ability to pick up new skills, and handle detail-oriented tasks at a professional level.

From the Left: Attorney In-Charge Kari Tannenbaum, Administrative Assistant  Robin Allen-D’Abreau,  Crystal Ortolaza, and Secretary Renee Foster pose in their office. Crystal has helped this team with a variety of projects this summer, including fielding phone calls and opening and closing cases.

From the Left: Attorney-In-Charge Kari Tannenbaum, Administrative Assistant Robin Allen-D’Abreau,
Summer Jobs Student Crystal Ortolaza, and Secretary Renee Foster pose in their office. Crystal has helped this team with a variety of projects this summer, including fielding phone calls and opening and closing cases.

Robin encourages students in the Summer Jobs Program to get an early start on exploring their interests and passions. “I like to be able to help high school students. I like to encourage them to work here if they are interested in law. They can go into court and observe. I really appreciate being a position to introduce them to legal work.”

Crystal is perfect example of getting an early start on exploring your career options. “I applied because I wanted to see my different options,” she said. “My two options right now are nursing and law. I want to work with children so if I do go into law, it will be working with juveniles or something in that area.”

Next summer she plans to try out an internship in nursing, however so far she is enjoying work in the legal field. The highlight of Crystal’s summer has come from the opportunity to network and meet new people. According to Crystal the most valuable skill she has gained is “learning to communicate with people and learn what they need and what they need help with.”

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