Panther Intern Spotlight – Emmaleigh Crook ’24 & Hillary (Lantrip) Croft ’14, J.D.

Check out this Panther Intern spotlight about Emmaleigh Crook ’24! Emmaleigh connected with Hillary (Lantrip) Croft ’14, J.D. during a KWC Power Lunch hosted by the Office of Career Engagement. That lunch eventually led to Hillary offering Emmaleigh an internship opportunity with the Hopkins County Attorney office in Madisonville, Ky.

Q: What is your major? What do you hope to do with it?
A: In May 2024, I graduated with a bachelor’s in criminal justice. I plan to further my educational journey and attend law school to earn my Juris Doctor. I want to become a distinguished attorney and practice law in my hometown (Madisonville, Ky.).
Q: Tell us about your internship! 
A:I am currently interning for the Hopkins County Attorney’s office this summer, specifically for Mrs. Hillary (Lantrip) Croft ’14, J.D. I met Mrs. Croft at a Kentucky Wesleyan Career Engagement Power Lunch in November of 2023. At this lunch, there was a panel of KWC alumni who are currently working in the field of criminal justice and/or political science. Through a conversation with Mrs. Croft, I discovered that she is an attorney in Madisonville, Ky which is also where I live! Further discussion revealed that her husband, Dan, was actually my 7th grade PE teacher. She gave me her contact information and then I emailed her at a later date about
an internship. After interviewing, she offered me this amazing internship opportunity.
Q: What kind of responsibilities do you have/projects are you working on?
A: I get the privilege of assisting in court prep and attending court sessions where I sit at the attorneys’ table with Mrs. Croft. When not in court, I spend most of my time in the child support office helping clients at the front desk, reviewing court documents for child support, assisting with juvenile court and filing cases. I am also responsible for reviewing and modifying the caseworkers’ proposed orders.
Q: What has been your favorite part of your internship so far?
A: I honestly cannot pick one thing that has been my favorite because I love all aspects of this internship! One aspect that is certainly an added blessing is the people I am surrounded by. They have welcomed me with open arms and are a major reason that I enjoy this internship so much. The amazing ladies at the child support office are always so uplifting and constantly make me smile. They feel like family now and they are always willing to help and offer advice. The other attorneys and staff at the Hopkins County Attorney’s office are so inspiring and patient in teaching me valuable information for law school.
Last but certainly not least, Mrs. Croft has been simply the best mentor I could ever ask for. She makes sure that I fully understand each and every aspect of being an attorney. I have come to the realization that Mrs. Croft does not need me in order to get the job done… In fact, I sometimes add more to her already-full plate but
she insists on taking the time to invest in me. I have realized that it is me that needed her in my life and I will forever be indebted and grateful for her. I did not understand when starting this internship how God sent it was, but now halfway through I see how this was in place to confirm his calling on my life. This internship has not only prepared me mentally for law school, but it has also provided me with friendships that I will cherish forever in my lifetime.
Q: What’s next after your internship?
A: The plan after graduating from Kentucky Wesleyan was always to attend law school and my time spent during this internship with Hillary has only reaffirmed that this is my path. I will leave this internship with a stronger foundation in legal studies to earn my degree and return to Hopkins County to reunite with my current mentors to make my hometown a better place one case at a time.
Interested in getting a Panther Intern for your organization? Contact Laura Rudolph, director of career engagement, here.