What comes to mind when you think of the words “summer internship”? Go ahead, ponder it for a moment.
Let me guess: you probably thought of an office, people wearing suits, computers, research, and perhaps also grunt work. Other than the grunt work, all of these images have been applicable to my summer internship. However, there’s a lot more to it.
My internship doesn’t take place only in the Georgia State Bar Association building in Atlanta; my coworkers and I also regularly travel to towns several hours away to visit clients and potential clients, to participate in depositions or settlement conferences, and much more.
On one such trip, after a day of depositions, my roommate and co-intern Aikta Wahi, also a rising 2L at NYU, and I were given an unexpected assignment: serve a subpoena in Lyons, Georgia.
Driving southwest from Statesboro, our sparsely populated road was flanked by farms, tobacco fields, small businesses and, occasionally, unusually large signs proclaiming religious messages. Though captivated by the bucolic countryside, I retained an awareness that I was slowly proceeding farther and farther from civilization as I knew it.
A mere 10 minute drive from Vidalia (yes, home of the onions), Lyons has a decidedly country flavor. With its population of approximately 4,169, a Manhattan resident like myself is reluctant to call it a city. We city folk tend to call places like this “the middle of nowhere”.
As we neared our destination, we began to traverse winding roads through forest. At last, we saw a cluster of mailboxes, each emblazoned with a number, seemingly in no particular order – a promising sign of civilization. Sure enough, the next turn was the street of the address typed on the subpoena – and my first experience driving on a dirt road.
We were looking for house number 90. After driving up and down a portion of the street enough times that we feared the neighbors would get suspicious, Aikta and I left the car to investigate if number 90 might be one of the houses we noticed that seemed not to be connected to any particular road. In our business attire, we carefully traipsed through what must have been someone’s backyard, hoping that this wasn’t an area where shooting trespassers is deemed acceptable. The house didn’t seem to be there, and a friendly neighborhood resident with wasn’t sure where it was located either.
Perhaps the house was further down the road, we reasoned. As we proceeded, we noticed a sizable dirt pit to our left. We chose to investigate if number 90 might be located over a hill; however, we quickly realized our economy rental car wasn’t equipped for such terrain, and were just a bit reluctant to risk slipping backward into the pit.
Seconds after I remarked that we needed an ATV, we saw an ATV heading in our direction, over the hill! Aikta asked its driver, in Spanish, where the person we wanted to serve resided. He motioned for us to follow him, and we followed his vehicle until he pointed out a particular house. Much to our chagrin, the correct house was not the nonexistent 90, but 91.
Unfortunately, the house was vacant, and we were reluctant to continue searching after dark – a complete lack of streetlights and roads that were often not clearly demarcated did not seem to be a favorable combination. Our trip had not been successful, but it was absolutely an adventure.
I feel fortunate to have the chance to explore areas of the country that I would have never chosen to visit, and to meet people I would have never encountered – and in fact, I’ve already volunteered for a trip to a rural area near Macon, Georgia, which I’m sure will bring more adventure and more stories to tell.