GUEST BLOG by Lauren Rose,
2L at the University of Detroit Mercy
Internships are important. They are important because this is probably the only time you get to learn about practical, real-world, lawyer things. Over the summer, I was fortunate enough to have two different internship experiences. Both experiences were very different, albeit very rewarding.
First of all, I split my summer between two different places. This is pretty uncommon. However, I did it based on unique circumstances. Many law students will intern at one place, which is completely normal and fine!
For the first half of the summer, I interned with a circuit court judge. This was an eye-opening experience because the judge had both a civil and criminal docket. I learned the ins and outs of the courtroom. To make everything run efficiently and smoothly during a court session, there are many things that go on behind the scenes. Sitting with the clerk and learning about her job and the importance of filing documents properly was incredibly enlightening. Also, I learned the importance of being courteous to the court and to the court staff. I saw way too many attorneys get mad over things or act unprofessional. Remember, the staff of the court are humans too. They can be your best friend or your worst enemy!
During the second half of the summer, I was awarded a fellowship to work at a non-profit. This non-profit focused in child welfare law. Working for a non-profit was not only a rewarding but also a great teaching experience. I was able to draft many documents, observe court hearings, and meet with clients. Being at a small non-profit allowed me, and the other interns, to experience the setting of a law firm with the presence and oversight of attorneys who cared about a common cause. This was a unique experience that provided me with an array of legal knowledge that I will use throughout my career.
Once you find an internship, or start work as an intern, remember that you are the intern. You still have a lot of learning to do and you need all of the help that you can get. Here are the three main takeaways from my summer internship experience: a smile will get you a long way; be humble; work your butt off.