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Become a Prosecutor and Serve Your Community


Vol. 39 No. 9
ByBen Kappelman

Ben Kappelman, a third-year student at Suffolk University Law School, is the 2010–11 liaison to the Criminal Justice Section–Prosecution Function Committee.
The Prosecution Function Committee of the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section (CJS) offers law students the opportunity to meet and learn from more than 100 experienced prosecutors in offices across the country. The committee and its members are great resources for all law students, especially those who will enter prosecution clinics this fall and plan on becoming prosecutors after graduation. The committee explores emerging issues in criminal law, challenges facing prosecutors across the nation, and programs encouraging law students to serve their communities as prosecutors.
The committee wants every law student to know about the federally funded John R. Justice (JRJ) Grant Program. The JRJ program attempts to help prosecutors and defenders afford the cost of paying off their student loans while serving their communities. Students should be aware of their opportunities in the program, which an executive agency in each state administers. While grant amounts will vary, the JRJ program can be an important part of a comprehensive debt-repayment strategy. The committee is interested in hearing from students about their experiences with the program and how the impact of loan repayment programs influences their willingness to enter public service.

The committee, along with CJS, is a proud sponsor of educational opportunities for practicing lawyers and students alike. At the upcoming ABA Annual Meeting, to be held August 4–9 in Toronto, Canada, the committee and CJS will sponsor panel discussions, lecture events, and training sessions. For law students, most are free. And the Annual Meeting presents an invaluable opportunity for current law students to meet experienced prosecutors when the Committee meets.

In addition to these in-person educational opportunities, CJS also has a variety of webinars and teleconferences held throughout the year, which are also available to law students for free or at reduced rates. As law students look for help in their clinical practice, job search, or professional growth, they should look to the Prosecution Function Committee for support, guidance, and mentorship.

Student Lawyer Student Lawyer magazine provides guidance on educational, career, and related issues for ABA Law Student Division members and other subscribers. It is published four times a year by the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association. Student Lawyer is available online to members of the ABA Law Student Division and to print subscribers.