Summer in DA’s Office Confirms 3L’s Prosecutor Aspirations
Eric Alizade ’20 is a rising third-year day student spending his summer working as a law clerk for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. Prior to transferring to LMU Loyola Law School, Alizade served in the U.S. Army. A combat veteran who served in Iraq and speaks five languages, Alizade plans to become a prosecutor and serve his community in new ways.
Q: How did you land your summer job?
A: I landed my summer job through the law school’s Career Development Office. They provide amazing opportunities for internships/externships in all parts of the legal profession. I applied through the career development website, landed an interview and impressed the interviewers with the skills I’ve learned at the law school.
Q: What is the most interesting part of your job?
A: As a certified law clerk, you have a chance to appear in court under the supervision of a Deputy District Attorney. I was completely in charge of my cases and took them all the way from initial report to sentencing. I was in control of what we call the “life of the case” – all the way through its natural ending.
Q: What has been your most challenging assignment thus far?
A: My most challenging assignment was preparing a jury trial from the ground up. So many things go into prepping a case for trial that it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Nevertheless, Loyola Law School teaches us to think quickly and be fast on our feet, so I adapted easily and it turned out great.
Q: What new legal skill have you acquired during your summer job?
A: I learned the importance of identifying the right witnesses to testify at trial and at preliminary hearings. In order to do that, you need to take the time to analyze the whole case. This way you can determine who is absolutely needed and avoid any potential surprises down the road.
Q: What bit of legal knowledge have you been able to display?
A: I was able to display my expertise in evidence. I am forever thankful to Professor Kevin Lapp, who teaches Evidence at the law school. Thanks to what I learned in his class, I correctly objected to improper testimonies and evidence, as well as, properly admitted necessary evidence during my time at the District Attorney’s Office.
Q: How has Loyola helped you map your career path?
A: When I met with my career counselor, Katrina Denny, I already knew that I want to be a prosecutor. Immediately, Katrina mapped out the internships and externships that I need to do in order to be a successful DA. I am thankful to the Career Development Office for caring about every single student. Katrina has followed up with me every semester, making sure that I am doing well.