Carlos Martinez is a member of the 2015-2016 Judicial Administration Fellowship cohort. Originally from San Diego, he graduated from Santa Clara University in 2015 with a B.S. in Political Science and minors in Music and Sociology. While at Santa Clara, he studied public law in Washington, D.C., interned at the Public Defender’s Office, and volunteered at a children’s orphanage in Nepal. He currently works at the Habeas Corpus Resource Center as a Capital Defense Investigator for the state of California.
“The Judicial Administration Fellowship was an invaluable experience that shaped my current understanding of our state’s judiciary. I entered the Fellowship with a passion for indigent defense but no substantial experience in the judicial system. To me, the courts were an intimidating and complex maze of processes that were unintelligible. While I was right about the judiciary’s complexity, the fellowship’s combination of a court placement with monthly academic seminars made these complexities both understandable and relevant. My court placement granted me the flexibility to study and participate in court services that assist indigent populations, and the academic seminars studied these specific services in the context of the state judicial branch. I am currently a capital defense investigator for the state of California, an especially niche field that involves complex judicial administration spanning decades. My fellowship experience not only prepared me for some of the administrative realities of capital defense, but it also provided a broader understanding that helps me better explain the process to the affected populations I work with. I’m not sure if I would have the same level of understanding if not for my fellowship experience.”