HSPA interns leave Statehouse with hands-on experiences from 2019 session

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As the 2019 session drew to a close April 24, HSPA’s legislative interns wrapped up four months of hands-on experience in the Statehouse.

Law students Marcel Duplantier and Cassie Heeke were selected last October to work with Steve Key on a host of issues in the legislature.

“It feels special to witness open debate about constitutional freedoms and counterbalancing interests, especially when those debates end up in the news the next day,” said Heeke, a student at Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

Heeke is from Jasper, Indiana. She received degrees in Journalism and Political Science from IU in Bloomington.
“I have learned so much about the lawmaking process that is impossible to know without being there at the Statehouse to watch as the gears turn,” Heeke said.

Marcel Duplantier grew up in the Indianapolis area and double-majored in History and Political Science at Purdue University. He will graduate from the McKinney School of Law in May and take the bar exam in July.

“I investigated legal issues, researched past and pending legislation, had opportunities for oral advocacy in committee hearings,” Duplantier said of his time with HSPA. “All of which will be useful in my career as a lawyer, no matter the venue. “

Key said he looks for candidates who exhibit maturity and initiative with experience in either journalism or legislative affairs as an added plus.

“Marcel and Cassie checked off all those boxes for me,” Key said.
The months of research, lobbying and monitoring bills comes to an end, but the experience is something the interns will take with them.

“My favorite days are the ones in the Statehouse,” Duplantier said “It’s a beautiful building full of history, and to be a witness to the law being made is an opportunity I am humbled to have,” Duplantier said.