Meet Assistant Prosecutor Logan Teisch
By Robert Florida
During high school, Logan Teisch played the role of prosecutor for a mock-trial exercise. Later, at the University of Maryland, he studied law and came to appreciate the role that prosecutors play in criminal justice.
“I was intrigued by the idea of fighting for justice for crime victims,” and of playing some role, no matter how small, in making them whole again,” says Teisch.
He next enrolled in Seton Hall Law School, during which he interned at the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. He was assigned to the Homicide Unit, where he got an inside view of prosecution. The experience was invaluable, and he was determined to become a prosecutor.
His determination paid off.
Now, Teisch is an assistant prosecutor in Essex’s Special Victims Unit, where he defends children who’ve been sexually abused. The unit also handles adult sexual abuse, elder abuse, and bias crimes. Here, he talks about his job, his internship, and his commitment to seeking justice for crime victims.
“I am proud of the work I do as an assistant prosecutor. There’s no better feeling than calling up a victim and giving them great news about his or her case. The gratitude and appreciation they express make the stress and exhaustion of this job completely worth it.”
Here, Teisch talks about his work, his internship, and his commitment to helping crime victims become “whole again.”
What was your internship like?
It was an eye-opening experience, for sure. It gave me a first-hand look at the inner workings of the busiest prosecutor’s office in the state, and yet somehow, I wasn’t scared away. In all seriousness, though, I really did enjoy the internship program. It introduced me to people I still work with, and to the work I’d do as an assistant prosecutor (writing briefs, doing legal research, making discovery packets). The internship also introduced me to the world of courtroom etiquette (where to stand, how to address the court, and most importantly—always have a jacket ready just in case you need to make an unexpected court appearance). All of those experiences helped play a part in making me the assistant prosecutor I am today.
Did the internship deepen your interest in prosecution?
Without question. I first became interested in prosecution when I was assigned the role of a prosecutor for a mock trial I did for class during my senior year at Marlboro High School. After that experience, I went on to college and learned more about criminal law and prosecution and came to appreciate the role that prosecutors play in the criminal justice system. I was drawn to prosecution because I wanted to be a voice for victims of crime. I was intrigued by the idea of fighting for justice on their behalf and of playing some role, no matter how small, in trying to make them whole. I figured that being a prosecutor would be a rewarding experience when justice is actually achieved, and this job has certainly validated that belief.
What unit were you placed for your internship?
In the summer of 2014, I interned with the Homicide Unit. That was my top choice when I was asked where I wanted to be placed for the summer, and it certainly did not disappoint. I could tell right away how busy things were in the unit. The assistant prosecutors were constantly passing through the halls going to and from court, and they had piles of files strewn over their offices. I worked closely with Eileen O’Connor, the then-Supervisor of the Vehicular Homicide unit, who gave me my first taste of reviewing case files, as well as prepping a case for trial. That hands-on experience was invaluable. I also worked closely with an assistant prosecutor assigned to arson, who brought me to court to watch different proceedings, including a Krol hearing – the name for a court hearing that takes place after a defendant is found not guilty by reason of insanity. I also observed a juvenile-waiver hearing, where a judge essentially determines if offenses against a juvenile warrant his or her being prosecuted as an adult. While the summer internship was short, it was jam packed with experiences that have served me well as an assistant prosecutor all these years later.
Why did you come to Essex County to work?
As a judicial law clerk in Essex County, I became familiar with a lot of assistant prosecutors working for ECPO, as they came in and out of court and into my judge’s chambers. I knew the work would be hectic and nonstop, which was to be expected in the busiest prosecutor’s office in the state. But that’s also why this office appealed to me. If I were indeed going to become an assistant prosecutor, I wanted to get the widest range of experiences I possibly could, and I knew that Essex County was the only place that could deliver that. While at work, I want to be kept busy and to work hard. In that regard, ECPO has not disappointed.
Can you talk about your current job?
I am assigned to the Special Victims Unit. My main duties include working closely with detectives to conduct investigations into allegations of sexual assault and child abuse. I advise the detectives on what evidence to gather to put a prosecutable case together. A large part of the job consists of reviewing investigations and determining if we have enough evidence in the case to file charges and proceed to court. Of course, if a case does get charged, then I am responsible for going to court and prosecuting it as well. I enjoy having a say in the investigations and having a say in what gets charged and what does not. That way I know that when a charged case lands on my desk, I can feel confident that it has been fully investigated and that the evidence is strong.
I am proud to be part of the multidisciplinary team here at Wynona’s House, where we, as law enforcement officers, work closely with medical personnel and other agencies to help care for our young victims. At such a young age, these victims have suffered unimaginable trauma that is likely to affect them for the rest of their lives. It is important that they get the help they need to cope with that. So, even if we are not able to prosecute a case criminally, I can take solace that there are other people on the team here at Wynona’s House who are caring for our victims in other ways.
Would you recommend the internship to students, and would you encourage them to become prosecutors?
Yes, I would recommend the internship to anyone interested in a possible career in prosecution. There is no better place to get your first taste of the life of an assistant prosecutor than here at ECPO. The experience here is unmatched anywhere else in the state, so when you go through this internship, you know by the end if this is really the job for you. That’s what an internship is supposed to be all about. This internship not only introduces you to a lot of people in the office who have great connections elsewhere, but it also exposes you to things you wouldn’t otherwise get to do, such as observe an autopsy. That’s always a memorable experience for everyone who interns here.
I would also recommend a career in prosecution. I am proud of the work I do as an assistant prosecutor. There’s no better feeling than calling up a victim and giving them great news about his or her case. The gratitude and appreciation they express make the stress and exhaustion of this job completely worth it. In my book, that rewarding feeling beats getting a defendant off on a murder charge or settling a divorce proceeding. The sense of reward my work gives me is fantastic, and I don’t think any other field of law would give me such pride and job satisfaction.