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Michelle Hollis Weeks

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Elkhart County Prosecutor's Office
2012 | Elkhart, IN
Sewanee, The University of the South | English and Classical Studies
“The majority of my professors are so passionate about the subject that it was a pleasure just to be in the classroom. They make themselves available, encourage an interactive learning environment, and make it easy to be excited about being a lawyer”
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What are your current work responsibilities?
My general responsibility is to enforce the laws of Indiana and hold criminals accountable. I work in the Juvenile Court dealing with offenses from those as minor as incorrigible or runaway status offenses, or as serious as Felony Burglary or Child Molestation. Throughout the juvenile process, I make charging decisions, offer recommendations for sentencing and violation of probation purposes, and conduct Evidentiary Hearings when it comes to adjudicating a juvenile who has denied his offense. I also assist other Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys in jury trials in the adult courts.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?
Finding some form of justice for the victims has to be one of the most rewarding parts. I find satisfaction in forcing those who refuse to take responsibility for their actions to face the consequences. Preparing for a jury trial through witness preparation, strategizing, learning every facet of your case, and seeing this hard work manifest in a guilty verdict is both a rush and a reminder of why you spent seven years in college and your last summer preparing for the bar exam.

Were there certain experiences at MSU Law that helped you prepare for or obtain your current position?
I knew I was nervous standing in front of people and speaking. So, I took several trial skills courses to practice preparing and presenting opening statements, direct examinations, cross examinations, and closing arguments. Furthermore, I found the applied skills courses to be the best way to learn any general subject.

What would you consider to be the strengths of the Law College?
The majority of my professors are so passionate about the subject that it was a pleasure just to be in the classroom. They make themselves available, encourage an interactive learning environment, and make it easy to be excited about being a lawyer. Most also have a biting sense of humor and are happy to grab a beer with you.

Is there any additional insight you would like to share?
Law school is best done with an endgame in mind. I know personally I felt defeated after the first year, but an externship at a prosecutor's office gave me renewed strength and a goal to work towards beyond just graduating. Enter law school with realistic expectations and utilize your resources (like Career Services) so you can network, receive new opportunities, and find your passion.


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