The desire to gain real-world experience and learn fundamental tasks such as starting a case file, filing a motion and discovery procedures are what led Stefan B. Feidler, 3L, to an externship with the Charleston County Public Defender’s Office.
While the summer position is technically a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job, he arrives early and stays late every day. He is inspired and motivated by the attorneys around him who continue to work hard.
“Working here has taught me a lot about these attorneys and their case loads. I am amazed at how much they do themselves. I have learned the importance and hard work of public defenders and that clients, though accused are not always guilty,” said Feidler.
“Working at the Public Defender’s office for people who cannot afford an attorney directly correlates with Charleston School of Law’s mission of public service. Public Defenders strive to ensure the protection of due process rights while maintaining a respectful name within the judiciary. While budgets are based on strict State funding, these attorneys continue to give it their all for the clients’ cause and I believe Charleston School of Law represents that,” said Feidler.
A typical day for Feidler involves memo and research writing, client interviews and other tasks relating to discovery. Interviewing those accused of murder or attempted murder at the jail on a regular basis has been quite a unique experience. Additionally, he gets the opportunity to sit in on court proceedings for drug court, mental health court, transfer court and plea bargaining. It was during these proceedings that he learned the importance of always being on time, showing the court and clerks the upmost respect, and keeping cell phones turned off.