Peyton Baer ’19 gains law and criminal justice knowledge during spring internship

“My experience as a student-athlete at Centre College has been incredible, because I was able to be more than just an athlete,” said women’s field hockey player Peyton Baer ’19 (Asheville, North Carolina). “It afforded me the opportunity to study abroad in London, complete an internship and participate in multiple organizations on campus.”

Taking advantage of the Centre Commitment, the politics and international studies major is interning this spring semester for the Department of Public Advocacy at the Danville Public Defender’s Office, where she works directly underneath the attorneys and social workers, helping them with casework. She also attends case meetings, jail visits and court with them.

“I have always been interested in criminal law,” Baer said. “This internship has given me insight of the role of public defenders, prosecutors and judges in the criminal justice system. I have also learned about the substantive rights of the accused. This internship also gives me the opportunity to see the day-to-day life of a public defender.”

Baer has previous legal internships before working at the public defender’s office. She said her time at Centre College has given her the tools to be successful in work experience, and it has taught her how to manage her classwork, internships and field hockey.

“Being a student-athlete has taught me invaluable time management skills,” she added. “As an athlete, I was in practice 15-plus hours a week, not including games and travel time to those games. My coach Jenelle Downs has always stressed that we are students first and constantly pushes us to excel in the classroom and partake in other academic opportunities, such as study abroad and internships. She was someone who really pushed for me to apply for this internship during season.”

Through this internship, Baer said she hopes to take away pertinent knowledge about the law and legal process of a criminal case, as well as knowledge about the exact work she wants to do in the future.

“This experience has been the highlight of my Centre career,” she added. “It has affirmed my decision to go to law school after graduation and pursue a job as an attorney in the criminal justice system. This internship has given me the opportunity to expand my knowledge of the criminal justice system, as a whole, which I will be able to use in law school and my future career.”

by Kerry Steinhofer
March 11, 2019