Intern to get real-world experience

Published 10:00 am Monday, June 9, 2014

The District Attorney’s Office welcomed its latest intern last week under a great piece of legislation that allows students to get real-life courtroom experience.

Circuit Judge M. James Chaney swore in Josh Dixon, 25, of Vicksburg, for limited practice last week, and we welcome Dixon into the courtroom where he will get a taste of what prosecutors do every day.

“He’s a very promising up and coming attorney, and we look forward to having him in our court,” Chaney said during the short ceremony Thursday.

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Dixon is able to get this real-world experience because of the Limited Student Practice Act of 1996, which allows third-year law students to handle some duties in the courtroom. Without the limited practice act, Dixon and other students who benefit from it every year would be doing nothing but pushing paper in a law office somewhere.

Dixon will be handling some paperwork but he’ll also be in the courtroom arguing during revocation hearings and sitting in on trials, District Attorney Ricky Smith said.

“We’re excited about getting students in who are interested in criminal practice,” Smith said. “We’re just proud to have Josh here. It’s a great resource for the students to get an idea of the realties of practice.”

Since Dixon has the opportunity to get experience in his hometown, we hope he returns here to work once he earns his law degree and passes the bar.

The two attorneys who argued it out in court right after he was sworn in did. Assistant District Attorney Bert Carraway was also an intern in the DA’s office under the limited practice act, and defense attorney Chris Green was a legal clerk for Circuit Judge Isadore Patrick while he was in law school.

That real-world experience pays off.