Criminal Justice Internship Confirms Student’s Career Aspiration

March 6, 2018

Junior Jayme Mabry Eyes Law School after WC Graduation

The tragic death of an extended family member who suffered from a substance abuse disorder prompted Jayme Mabry to explore studying criminal justice at Wilmington College. Her internship with the local prosecutor’s office affirmed her decision.

PICTURED: Wilmington College junior Jayme Mabry is pictured at her internship site, the Clinton County Prosecutor’s Office in Wilmington.

Mabry is a junior from Amelia majoring in criminal justice with an interest in pursuing a law degree. Originally studying biology, she recalled taking Dr. Paul Moke’s course, Police, Law and Society, “confirmed” her interest in criminal justice. “It really clicked for me,” she said. “I’m so inspired. I want to make a difference and help people in our criminal justice system.”

In August, she began volunteering at the Family Law Clinic in Wilmington, where she assists indigent persons complete paperwork while sharing her knowledge of the criminal justice system in easing their anxiety and trepidation. She complemented that hands-on learning experience by starting a semester-long internship in January with the Clinton County Prosecutor’s Office.

Mabry interns in the felony department by assisting Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Katie Wright with cases bound for common pleas court. One of her tasks is preparing discovery packets for the defense counsel.

“I’ve gotten to see both sides and realize the importance of educating people — you always see defendants who don’t understand the legal system,” she said.

Mabry is thrilled to have Wright as a mentor and feels “inspired to one day follow in her footsteps” as a prosecutor.

“I’ve gotten to go to pretrial hearings and sentencing, whatever’s on Katie’s schedule,” she added. “I love going to court. It really makes me want to litigate and be in on the action in court.”

Wright appreciates Mabry’s enthusiasm, organization skills and “genuine interest” in the law and justice system. “Jayme’s a self-starter and always jumps in to help. Her attitude goes a long way,” Wright said. “She’s come to court with me and knows how the process works — she’s learning a lot here.

“Multiple people at the courthouse have asked me if she’s an attorney,” she added in alluding to Mabry’s professionalism. “I say, ‘Almost!’”

Mabry has essentially reinvented herself at Wilmington College. As a high school student, she pretty much just attended classes and worked. At WC, she’s taken advantage of opportunities for involvement and leadership development. She serves as president of Alpha Phi Kappa sorority, president of the Native American Student Assn., vice president of the Student Alumni Assn. and vice president/environmental service coordinator for Service Leader Executive Board.

“When I came to Wilmington College, I wanted a new life,” she said. “I wanted to make my time and tuition money as meaningful as possible. Being a leader at WC, everyone has their eyes on you and they expect you to be a role model for other students.”

Those leadership positions and their time commitment have forced her to be well organized and practice effective time management, along with providing opportunities for honing her public speaking skills. It’s made her constantly conscious of “how I portray myself to other people.”

While Mabry sees herself in law school in the not-too-distant future, she is looking forward to the balance of this spring semester and her upcoming senior year with all the inherent challenges, opportunities and lifelong memories ahead during the next 15 months.

“I love it here — I’m not ready to leave Wilmington College just yet,” she said. “It’s like one big family and I’ve never had that before other than at home.”