Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General

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.

At the Attorney General’s Office, you will be part of “The People’s Law Firm.”  Whether working directly with our residents, or supporting our talented and dedicated staff, your work here will contribute to a higher mission of serving the public and making a difference in the lives of others.  Interns will be assigned to a specific division within the Office and will be able to participate in many of the trainings, events, and activities of our structured Summer Legal Intern Program.

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 Attorney General’s Office 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:

As an intern in the Fair Labor Division of the MA Attorney General’s Office, I have had the opportunity to engage with deeply important and inspiring work. The office is comprised of a massive and diverse group of attorneys, investigators, and legal and non-legal interns (to just name a few) all working together because of a shared passion for public service. In the Fair Labor Division, we investigate wage and hour related crimes ranging from small stores unfairly paying employees, to massive corporations affecting thousands of workers; after this internship I will undoubtedly look at everyday companies differently. I was astounded in my first week when I was placed on a case where I personally knew some of the victims. Wage and hour violations happen everywhere and tragically have the biggest impact on the most vulnerable in our communities. The FLD works to protect and recoup wages for all workers, regardless of immigration status.

There are no average days as new projects on new topics will always be waiting from helping audit a business to testing formulas to produce predicted sick time pay. There is a fair share of administrative work creating spreadsheets on excel and mail merging, but the work is necessary and impactful as it directly contributes to the success of an investigation. During my time I have also had the chance to go on site-visits and compliance-visits where we personally go to a place of business, interview workers, and investigate potential violations. Interns can take part in wage clinics where community members can seek legal advice and representation as well as attend office wide meetings and events.

One of the best parts of working at the Office of the Attorney General is the internal internship program in place. From networking events with attorneys, seminars, court visits, and lunches there is an intern event almost every day. Meeting fellow interns and legal interns is an invaluable experience if you are interested in law school or government.

To get the most out of this internship you do need to be proactive; taking all the opportunities available as well as searching for more will ensure a fulfilling summer. The people are what make the Attorney General’s Office what it is. Everyone I have met has been incredibly kind and willing to talk or give advice. Days will sometimes be difficult, but the work will continue to be inspiring.

Taylor Li '19
 

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 

Boston, MA / Cambridge, MA