I am externing at the Missouri Attorney General’s Office in Jefferson City, Missouri. One reason I chose this position is because I wanted to be closer to home this summer. I am from St. Louis and Jefferson City is only about an hour and a half away. More importantly, I wanted to get a glimpse of how the legal system works from the government side. I knew this position would provide me with the opportunity to see how the State of Missouri enforces the law through the court system, particularly, the laws you don’t hear about on a daily basis.
2. What are some of your day-to-day duties/responsibilities?
A lot of the work I have been tasked with involves laws I either never knew existed or have not yet covered in law school. Often, I was assigned a research project culminating in drafting a memo for the attorney who assigned the project. I have also written petitions, demand letters, requests for judgment and a few appellate briefs.
3. What skills are you learning in this position and how do you think they will help you in your future legal career?
From the start I was given the opportunity and the resources to really improve my researching skills. It is vital for every young lawyer to be an efficient researcher, so this has really helped. They have also given me many opportunities to draft legal documents. For the majority of these documents, the attorneys have provided me feedback on my writing as well as corrections if necessary. This has allowed me to adapt my writing to a more professional level for future experiences.
4. What have been some of your favorite moments from this experience?
I’ve enjoyed learning about many different areas of law and improving my skill set for the coming years. They have kept me busy and provided me with invaluable practice and critique. Any time someone is headed to court, he or she swings by and grabs me. The office environment has also been great. I have met a lot of great attorneys and externs, and I will definitely keep in touch with many of them.
5. What has been the best advice you have received from someone you work with?
Make sure to develop an effective organizational system that works for you, and always know what is your first priority. You can apply this to the order in which you complete projects, to the way you research and write. You must have a system so you’re not cramming on any task.