Gaining Insight at Juvenile and Domestic Court Lexi Acosta '24L spent the fall semester as a judicial extern in the Roanoke City Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.
Lexi Acosta ‘24L, is from Marlborough, Connecticut. She attended the University of Hartford, where she received a B.S. in Health Science Pre-Medical Studies. After college, she taught middle school science as a City Year AmeriCorps Member in Boston, Massachusetts. At W&L she is the President of the Latin American Law Students Association and Co-President of the Public Interest Law Student Association. This fall, she externed for Judge Frank W. Rogers in the Roanoke City Juvenile and Domestic Relations (JDR) Court.
Describe your work experience and daily schedule.
Each Wednesday, I would travel to chambers in Roanoke. While in court for the day, I would sit next to Judge Rogers as he was on the bench, observe proceedings, take notes, ask questions, and engage in conversation in chambers after each set of proceedings. Additionally, I worked on memos, draft articles, and a draft opinion for Judge Rogers outside my time in chambers.
What are some skills you developed this fall?
In this experience, I had the opportunity to hone my research and writing skills while observing the day-to-day of the JDR court.
What surprised you about the work you did during your externship?
What surprised me the most about this work was the age of the children charged in JDR court. One particular case that sticks with me had a defendant who was only thirteen years old. I was also surprised by the various proceedings at different stages of litigation on both the criminal and civil dockets.
What was your favorite aspect of your fall experience?
My favorite aspect of the experience was developing a genuine connection with Judge Rogers. He valued my outside research and drafting for upcoming hearings, and I had the opportunity to ask infinite questions about what went into his decision-making and any other topic I could think to ask about.
Has this experience helped you figure out your post-graduate plans, and if so, how?
This experience helped me solidify my goal of doing litigation after graduation.