At one of the mediations I attended, I had the pleasure of hearing my research mentioned briefly.
In law school, you spend most of your time either in class or at the library poring over books. But this summer I have had the opportunity to attend examinations for discovery, mediations, motions, and other pre-trial appointments, which has easily been one of the most exciting aspects of being a summer student. Not only do you get a front-row seat to watch brilliant lawyers advocate for their respective clients, you also get to witness different strategies, techniques and styles of the different lawyers you have worked with – all of which is a huge learning opportunity as an aspiring litigator.
At one of the mediations I attended, I had the pleasure of hearing my research mentioned briefly. It was a very small part of the case, but a huge moment for me as a summer student!
The Human Element
In school, it can be easy to detach yourself when reading cases in class - especially when it’s an ancient tort case about ginger beer and a snail. At a law firm, however, it is very engaging to know that the file you are working on will have real-life implications for a number of people. Nowhere has this been more apparent than at my first mediation where I heard our client and the opposing side speak passionately about their positions – something that a law textbook cannot offer.
This “human element” is a motivating factor that has helped all of us summer students do our best work.
In law school, students focus on theory – but at a law firm, you have the chance to actually create legal documents. This summer has already been a huge learning experience. I could never have imagined that I, as a summer student, would have the opportunity to draft affidavits, pleadings, motions, and other documents that are part of the litigation process. Even more surprising is how much autonomy the firm gives us while working. This, paired with the guidance and feedback provided to the summer students, has allowed us to learn at an astounding pace.
In law school the first year is a real bonding experience – after the blood, sweat, and tears of 1L, it’s hard not to feel close to those who have shared the same experience. Luckily, as a summer student, I’ve experienced the same comradery through the joint excitement, and even uncertainty, that I’ve shared with my fellow summer students.
by Jessica M.