By Wyatt Bloomingdale, DU Law
Note: The following intern review was not paid-for, coaxed, coerced, cajoled, or edited in anyway. My name is Wyatt Bloomingdale and I am a summer intern at JLongtin Law. The summer semester is coming to an end and I wanted to take a few minutes to write about the overwhelmingly positive experience I’ve had this summer.
I want to become an attorney so that I can help other people. Mental Health issues have affected many of my friends and family members. I knew that I wanted to do my part, through the law, to help reverse the wheel of injustice that has turned our nation’s jails and prisons into our largest mental health facilities. The only problem with this goal: I had absolutely no idea what a career like this would look like, or whether it even existed. Working at JLongtin Law has shown me that it does exist. The attorneys at this firm prove that every day. Their slogan is “compassionate criminal defense,” and they do not take that mission lightly. I’ve seen the way JLongtin staff interacts with clients. They treat everyone that walks through the door with love and respect. Becoming a mental health attorney isn't for everyone, but at JLongtin Law we specialize in mental health criminal defense for those with serious mental illness, developmental delays, traumatic brain injury, and trauma related disorders.
Furthermore, being at intern at JLongtin law means that I also had the opportunity to assist Jen in her work with the Legislative Task Force for the Mentally Ill in the Criminal Justice System (or the MHDCJS). The Task Force consists of thirty-two members from a wide range of community and state organizations (from the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless to the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council). Through its subcommittees, the Task Force drafts and advocates for legislation that will improve Colorado’s ability to address mental health concerns in the future. Being a part of the Task Force has been my favorite part of the summer. So much so that I want to keep working for Jen this fall so that I can continue the experience. Working with the Task Force is an invaluable opportunity to learn from and often lament the process of bureaucratic change. At times it is frustrating to watch, but the work is extremely relevant and important.
It is an honor to be working for a law firm that goes out of its way to engage in challenging work, and for a boss who adds to her own extensive workload so that she can help make Colorado a better place. There are not enough law firms like JLongtin Law. I will draw on this summer experience for the rest of my career.