Each day of my externship presented me with the opportunity to observe the interactions between Judge Wilson and the various attorneys involved with the cases. By shadowing both trials and settlement conferences, I was quickly able to learn which of the attorneys’ tactics were successful, and which were not. Both the legal setting and the classroom component also enhanced my researching and writing skills, as Judge Michael, the professor for the classroom component, not only gave us practical insight on how to succeed in a judicial externship, but also advice on legal writing tactics that are effective when writing for a judicial audience. Finally, I believe that my externship experience is a strong addition to my resume. Every employer that I have worked for has strongly encouraged me to do a judicial internship or externship, and I think that the experience will be beneficial to my future employment.
How did the experience help prepare you for the professional world?
Spending time in the Judge’s chambers taught me aspects of the law that simply cannot be taught in a classroom. For example, Judge Wilson routinely gave me his personal insight on how to become a successful attorney, and what tactics are most successful from a judicial perspective. Additionally, by sitting in multiple settlement conferences, I was also able to learn successful negotiation tactics. Both skills are essential to becoming a successful attorney, and will only serve to enhance my professional career in the future.
What advice or further information would you give a student who is considering an externship?
I would advise any interested students to do preliminary research, so that they may be matched with a program that is a good fit for the student’s particular field of interest. The externship program is designed to become an asset to a student’s law school career, and I believe that the practical skills that I learned in my externship will have a direct impact on my future professional career. I highly encourage any student considering an externship to take advantage of the opportunity.