Brianna Bello '24 attends the Southern District of New York’s Justice Institute Program

Written by: Brianna Bello '24

My name is Brianna Bello and I am a rising Junior at Saint Joseph Hill Academy High School. This summer, I was chosen to attend the Southern District of New York’s Justice Institute program at the Manhattan Court House. During the final week of July (25th-29th) I, amongst other select NYC students, had the opportunity to learn more about several careers relating to the law. A variety of professionals from each of these fields such as Federal Defender Jennifer Brown, Assistant-Director-in-Charge of the New York FBI Field Office Michael Driscoll, and U.S. Magistrate Judge Jennifer E. Willis spoke about their respective professions as well as the challenges faced in each. We even had the chance to hear from Larry Williams, a formerly incarcerated man.

On the fifth day of this program, we participated in a “mock-trial” regarding a shoplifting incident. Being on the prosecution side, it was my team’s job to prove that a teenager’s confession statement was legitimate. Having done mock trial with Mrs. Sullivan at Hill for the past two years, I was able to utilize the skills I have learned to help my team navigate the case.

In addition to enjoying the program, taking part in the Justice Institute has furthered my interest in the law. Hearing about all aspects of the law from varying perspectives and occupations has allowed me to explore unique career options that I may not have otherwise, such as a court reporter or a secret service agent.

Overall, I appreciate having had the ability to take part in such a unique and prestigious program. I would like to thank Mrs. Sullivan as well as my parents and teachers for making this opportunity possible.