California Baptist University’s Pre-Law Society invited Michael Hestrin, Riverside County district attorney, to speak to the students about work opportunities at a club meeting Nov. 6.
Hestrin has worked in the district attorney’s office since 1998 before he was sworn in as the Riverside County district attorney Jan. 5. Hestrin also served briefly as an adjunct professor at California Baptist University in 1998.
Hestrin came to speak on the role of the district attorney.
He also spoke about what it takes to become a deputy district attorney, as well as the summer undergraduate College Academy internship. Speaking alongside Hestrin were John Aki, chief assistant district attorney, and Levi Bailey, senior investigator at the district attorney’s office.
Hestrin explained the variety of cases the district attorney’s office prosecutes. He mentioned summer internships and community volunteering were important things they looked for when hiring deputy district attorneys.
“Prosecution is a service-oriented job,” he said.
The Riverside County district attorney office is the fourth largest district attorney’s office in the state of California.
Hestrin has also conducted trainings for prosecutors, paralegals and law enforcement officers in Riverside.
“I have loved every minute of this job,” Hestrin said. “It’s not to say there weren’t tough days and it’s not to say there weren’t bad days, but it truly has been a calling to me.“
Hestrin said being a prosecutor is about doing the right thing for the right reason every time.
“As a person that aspires to go into the legal field, the DA inspires me to do more,”said Brittany Ramos, junior criminal justice major and president of the Pre-Law Society Club. “He’s an important person to our community and to the legal aspect of our community, and without him, we wouldn’t have such a strong justice system within Riverside County.”
Ramos said she interned at the College Academy during the summer of 2015 at the district attorney’s office and the internship was an emphasis during Hestrin’s
address to the club.
The program is a 10-week unpaid internship targeted at undergraduate students who want a first hand experience of what the district attorney’s office does.
Kyle Sugimura, senior business administration major, also interned at the College Academy over the summer. He interned within the crime prevention unit of the district attorney’s office.
“Attending Hestrin’s speech provided insight to the life of a prosecutor. He has strong will to make a difference for the people of this county,” Sugimura said.
Hestrin said he picked up a passion for prosecuting when he participated
in a clinical during his time in law school and has continued to have a passion even now, where he holds the highest position in the legal department of the county of Riverside.
Hestrin stressed the importance of honesty, integrity and ethics to the students as crucial values for prosecutors to uphold in their positions.
“Public prosecutors are very powerful and the stroke of a pen can change lives,” Hestrin said.