Volunteer District Attorney Externship

Hi friends.  It is my sincerest wish that you are well.  Please take the time to read the attached letter below.

Yours Truly,

John

John L. Adams
11423 Tampa Ave Unit 129
Northridge, CA 91326

Greetings.

As many of you are aware through social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), on May 16, 2014 I graduated from Pepperdine University School of Law. It is easily my greatest personal achievement and I am humbled at the outpouring of loving support and well wishes you all have lavished on me as I accomplished this arduous endeavor. Thank you!

What some of you may not know is that my career goal is to become a Deputy District Attorney, a goal I have begun through my volunteer work with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (LACDA). During the summers of 2012 and 2013 I worked in the Hardcore Gang Unit and helped prosecute gang felonies in conjunction with victims’ advocacy groups to help those people injured by gang violence receive the justice they desperately sought. I continued my volunteer position with the LACDA during the spring of 2014, this time in the Preliminary Hearings Unit. Over the course of the spring I gained precious courtroom experience, functioning essentially as a supervised Deputy District Attorney. In this role I conducted preliminary “trials” on the record for Los Angeles County. These cases included felony drug possessions, felony battery, robbery, and commercial burglary. It was truly the coolest job I have ever had. It was also a confirmation that I want to invest the next part of my life as a law enforcement attorney helping, to insure that our communities are safe.

Why am I writing you? Besides a desire to express my sincere gratitude for your encouragement over the past 3 years and update you on what is next in my life, I write to ask you for help. As I mentioned earlier, the experience I have gained as LACDA intern has been completely voluntary, as are the vast majority of legal government internship/externships. That is to say, my desire to fulfill this life-long dream has come not only at the expense of incurring monumental student loans, but even having to pay out of pocket for the opportunity to volunteer (numerous background checks, daily parking fees, travel, etc.). Don’t worry, I’m not asking for your help to repay my student loans (buuuuut… hmm…no, I digress). However, I am asking you for financial support of a different kind.

In realizing my dream of becoming a district attorney, I have been offered a position with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office in their Post Bar Fellowship program. Completing this program (which begins in August after I take the California Bar Exam and ends in December) doesn’t ensure a paid position with the office (which also happens to be the second largest prosecutorial office in the country), but the opportunity is available to “earn a spot on the team.” This is a unique opportunity for me and isn’t presently available to me at other prosecutorial offices in California. As with my other DA experiences this one is also voluntary unfortunately. After three years of law school and a year of working for the LACDA’s office, if I want a chance at a paid position, I must again work for free for roughly six months after I take the bar.

So what do I need? In a word, I need money. Dinero. Cash. Ok, that’s three words, but you get the picture. I have exhausted every resource I can think of. I have applied for personal private loans, but without a paying job and sizable student debt I am not eligible. I have researched government grants, but the ones I would qualify for are only available to law students, not graduates. I have contacted private legal organizations but again to no avail. In short, as Princess Leia said to Obi-Wan Kenobi, “You’re my only hope!”

How much do I need? I need $15,000 to cover living expenses from August to January. It sounds like a lot, because well, it is, so here’s the breakdown: The money would go towards car maintenance, gas, car insurance, food, clothing, health insurance, cellphone bill, rent and utilities. In essence you’ll be helping to support me as I finish the last chapter in my epic journey to become a lawyer.

When I tell you that you’re my only hope, I mean it. If I am not able to come close to this goal, I will have to pass on the bar program and stay in Los Angeles without any prospect of a job. There are many ways you can help, but the most urgent and most effective help is to donate. Other ways you can help are to spread the word to those you may feel would want to help, those who would take an interest in seeing diversity in our government’s prosecutorial ranks. If you only feel comfortable giving to a certain expense, you can choose to sponsor a particular portion of the monthly expenses I’ll incur, e.g. rent or insurance. You can give me any leads you may know of, of which I’m not aware, so that I can pursue them to gain funding. Above all else, you can pray for me. I am so very close to a dream realized. You can pray that I persevere, that God will open doors and opportunities for me to help this happen, or grace to deal with it in the event that it doesn’t.

When do I need it? I’d like to have the funds by August 11. Since the bar exam is the following week and the program begins in the 3rd week of August, I would like time to go to Santa Clara County and find housing and learn a little about the place before I begin work. Whether you are able to help or not, I thank you for taking the time to read this. I thank you for your love and support. And I thank you for simply being in my life. I love you all.

Sincerely,

John L. Adams, JD
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John L. Adams 
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