One Year as Community Outreach Court Coordinator

Me as COC Coordinator

One year ago (almost to the day) I made the tiny professional leap from being the Office of the Public Defender’s Appellate Legal Clerk (a position I loved and did for 15 months) to the Community Outreach Court Intake/Case Coordinator and I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed! I gained valuable skills when I was a clerk because I not only had important responsibilities with cases in the Intermediate Court of Appeals and the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court, but I also assisted the Felony, District, and Family sections every week. However, when the COC Coordinator position opened following my dear friend Jenalyn’s departure as the former role-filler, I strove to earn the title as the only way I could professionally advance in our office. Over the past year I’ve worked extremely hard to address all of the needs our clients have, work diligently with service providers, exceed my PD and supervisor’s expectations, immediately respond to/contact every client/provider/referral by text/call/email whenever possible, conduct outreaches at different locations and with providers, and follow our clients through the court process from start to finish. I have a huge number of tasks to complete every day (I believe I average 28 phone calls and 7 program applications daily), but I love the feeling of checking them off my to-do list. My position is a ton of work with not much pay, which is one of the main aspects I’d change about it if I were given the opportunity. The past year as COC Coordinator has taught me how to be a better advocate for every individual I come across, spread my attention to multiple people and projects at once, neutrally and professionally interact with organizations/bureaucratic figures I do not necessarily agree with, follow through with every detail regarding applicants and current clients, and be an expert in my role. I don’t know how long I’ll be this program’s Coordinator, but I’m lucky that I was given this opportunity and that I’ve grown so much over the last 12 months (and that I have this cute ass office to work in every week!)