Attorney General Maura Healey is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In addition, her office is an advocate and resource for the Commonwealth and its residents in many areas, including protecting consumers, combating fraud and corruption, protecting civil rights, and promoting meaningful economic recovery.
The main office of the Attorney General is located in Boston. Regional offices are located in Western, Central and Southeastern Massachusetts, allowing residents statewide access to services and information.
The Office of the Attorney General is organized into six Bureaus: Executive; Criminal; Energy and Environment; Government; Health Care and Fair Competition and Public Protection and Advocacy. Each bureau is divided into divisions and teams. These Bureaus and Divisions have distinct missions, but work closely together to ensure the Attorney General’s Office provides the highest level of public protection.
2017 Intern Reflection:
If you are a pre-law student, you may have realized that any remotely legal-based internships are extremely hard to come by as an undergraduate student, as positions are offered predominantly, if not exclusively, to law students. Working at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has been a rare and enriching experience for me. I specifically am working under the Environmental Protection Division (EPD), which falls under the larger Energy and Environment Bureau (EEB). I will try to include both general and specific experiences thus far in my internship.
As a non-legal intern at the AGO, your primary job will either fall under citizen correspondence or policy/research. Throughout your time at the AGO’s office there will be plenty of intern events (one or two every week). These events include getting to know fellow interns as well as attorneys in various divisions, lectures on topics such as cyber-data analysis and taking depositions, and even an annual bowling event. At the AGO’s office, you will get out exactly what you put in. More specifically, there are a nearly infinite amount of work that you could do at any of the divisions, but the attorneys are also extremely busy with their own work. This means that while the attorneys will be more than happy to give you projects and feedback, you have to be the one that is proactively seeking assignments. You will most likely be juggling 2 or 3 projects at any one time, without any strict deadlines except the ones you give yourself.
Specifically in the EPD, my role has mainly been focused on writing memos and conducting research. Proficiency in analyzing data on Excel and being able to write memos — from a one-page condensed summary of a legislation to a twenty-page comprehensive overview of a specific topic — will be incredibly useful during your time at the AGO. If you are expecting a full-on legal workload for your summer internship, you may be disappointed. You will not be preparing legal arguments or filing any motions. However, you will get to observe and learn an incredible amount about the civil (or criminal in some other divisions) litigation and what it entails. I went into EPD without much background on environmental issues. During my time here so far, I got to tackle subjects such as antibiotic resistance from farm animals, asbestos in buildings, lead exposure of children, and deceptive advertising claims of businesses.
Overall, the internship at the AGO is a great first step to pursuing your interest in law. Especially if you are a government concentrator, involved in the IOP, or are interested in the particular issues of a division (such as the environment for the EPD), you will find a great intersection to explore for your summer.
Melvin Woo '19
I worked at the Office of the MA Attorney General in the Fair Labor Division. I didn't know this before, but the Attorney General's office is quite large, and divided into many smaller divisions. The Fair Labor Division focuses on wage and hour law enforcement, investigating employers who are not paying their employees fairly or violating child labor laws. While this is not the most glamorous topic, I have been surprised at how many people are affected by workplace exploitation, particularly minimum-wage employees and recent immigrants, who typically do not know their rights under MA state law. It's not making the headlines, but this kind of work makes a real impact in people's lives.
In general, the Attorney General's Office is extremely welcoming, with lawyers and non-legal assistants of all ages and backgrounds coming together through a shared commitment to public service. The intramural softball league provides a great space to meet people in other divisions, and a series of intern-specific and office-wide events over the summer keep us engaged on a wide variety of topics. In my day-to-day work, I assist Fair Labor staff members in receiving complaints and preparing them for attorney's to review. I also have worked on a variety of projects for individual investigators, helping to archive records, contact employees and employers, and audit businesses that are not complying with state regulations. Every day is different, exposing me to new sides to this (and related) topics in law and helping me better appreciate the difficult, but always satisfying, work of public service.
Caleb Shelburne '18