Women’s cross country captain wins award for volunteer court work
LEWISTON, Maine — Before she co-captained the Bates women’s cross country team to another strong season this fall, Jenny Monsulick ’12 spent much of last summer as a volunteer in the Lewiston District Court.
Monsulick, a NESCAC All-Academic performer for Bates’ women’s cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field teams, wasn’t paid for the privilege of making the 25-mile commute from her home in Readfield, Maine, every day to dive into the daily life of the court. But the dividends of her work continued into November, when she was awarded a Maine Judicial Branch performance award, which was announced by Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.
A politics major, Monsulick first asked Lewiston District Court Judge John Beliveau — who is himself a volunteer coach with Bates’ men’s and women’s track and field programs — about the volunteering opportunity during her sophomore year. “I decided that if I could do some work for Judge that I would see a whole new side of things,” she said. “Even if I didn’t like it, I could at least narrow my focus for a career search.”
Monsulick is readily able to draw parallels between being a new member of a varsity athletic team at Bates and being the new person working in a legal profession. “It was really overwhelming coming in as a freshman to a team were most people knew each other and knew how practice worked,” she said. “This summer was very similar: overwhelming at first, but everyone was so nice and supportive. That kind of team atmosphere makes all the difference.”
As for whether the experience whetted her appetite to pursue law as a profession, it certainly sounds that way. “Now when I graduate I will be looking for jobs in court administration or a job as a paralegal,” said Monsulick. “I like the work I did. It’s always changing and every case seemed to be a little different.”