Tag Archives: legal intern

Watching Oral Arguments

One of the former interns at the Foundation where I work swung by today to look up some paperwork. She is also a 3L and her article is also getting published by the Wisconsin Law Review this semester. She took over for me as president at the Federalist Society. We have a lot in common. 

Our boss (former boss, in her case) recently did an oral argument before the Wisconsin Supreme Court and someone in the office tipped us off that we could watch it on WisconsinEye. So we did. It was quite eye-opening. To be perfectly blunt, we were both shocked at how poorly some of the oral arguments went. (Not our boss, of course. He was great.) But some of the other presenters routinely interrupted the justices, didn’t know the answer to basic questions, or took a condescending tone when explaining the law. 

It was a very crystallizing moment for me. Not just because my friend and I realized ‘hey, even we could do that!’ But sitting there, talking to my friend about our upcoming publications, watching an oral argument about a brief we both helped write, I realized…I finally feel like a 3L. It isn’t that I’m a full-fledged attorney yet. But in a year I will be. 

Maybe someday my friend and I will argue before the Wisconsin Supreme Court together. Or even sit on the court. Or maybe we will go our opposite ways and totally lose contact. But for a moment, I did not feel like we were watching as clueless students, only half sure of what was going on. We watched as colleagues, knowledgeable and passionate about the law, discussing the strengths and weaknesses of our boss’s presentation. (I mean, what weaknesses? There were no weaknesses.) And I am looking forward to more of that. I realized…

There is a light at the end of this law school tunnel! 


My School Checks Up On Me

My career adviser at the law school sent my boss an e-mail today. He shared it with me:

I hope we might be able to find a time to discuss Amy’s summer employment—what went well, areas where our students can improve, and how we can best help you recruit future attorneys and interns.

A fairly innocuous request. Probably. Certainly helpful information for the law school. After all, if their students are going around burning bridges, they’ll want to know. And anyway, I want to develop the relationship between the career office and the foundation. This is a great place to work. 

But I have a confession: I’m a teeny, teeny bit annoyed by it.

It feels like my law school is checking up on me. Like a Mom asking if her kid played well with the other kids in kindergarten. ‘Is she social? Did she share? Did she bite Little Timmy again?’

I worked an adult job that I got on my own without any assistance from the career office, the diversity clerkship, or the law school clinics this summer. In fact, I have been working this job for over a year and a half now. So it seems a little silly to have someone checking up on me. Even for useful, research purposes. 

My boss was also confused. 

Because I am not a kindergartner. I am not a high schooler. I am not even a college student. I am an adult who chose a course of study through the law school. The law school is not my parent. Or my boss. It has no responsibility for me. And while I will probably laugh at my annoyance tomorrow, tonight I very much wish I could say: 

“How Amy’s summer employment went is none of your business!” 

(But it went well, for the record.)


Grantwriting

I consider one of the perks of working at a small, non-profit legal foundation that I get to do a little bit of everything. I handle communications, blog for the website, research briefs, write memos, and deliver final copies of the work to the clerk of courts.

Most recently, I’ve been handed the task of figuring out grant writing. It is a bit intimidating. But fun. 

Today I finished reading my 7th book on grant writing and non-profit fundraising. For someone who has thus far succeeding in bringing in $0, I sure feel like an expert. Hopefully some of this research will pay off. (Literally and figuratively!) 


“Normal” Amount of Posts

As I mentioned in an earlier post or two, part of my job at work involves updating the Foundation’s blog. I actually quite enjoy it. But I realized, the fact that I blog on Fernweh’s Call every day has given me a skewered perception of what is “normal” for a healthily updated blog.  

For example, my work’s blog is accessible through the website and the website lists the most recent 8 or so posts with links to get there. I seriously over-analyze how recent those 8 posts should be. Is it okay to have one from May? Should they all be June and July? Or just July? Can July have a few more posts than June? Or should I evenly space out posts so I don’t post more than 4 a month? 

But when you are used to writing 30-31 posts a month, 4 sure seems weak! 

I think I am going to go stalk all the organizations like us and see how often they post.


Blogging For Work Part II

We’ve run into a bit of a backlog with consistently updating the blog at work. Thus, my main role today involved back-dating posts to reflect updates we previously sent out to our subscribers. 

The thing is, it didn’t occur to me till I was halfway through the project that I don’t follow our blog and I have no idea if everyone who does gets an e-mail when I backdate something. 

In other words, a whole bunch of people might have an inbox right now that looks something like this:

  • Foundation to file join as intervenor in case (January)
  • Foundation submits motion to join as intervenor in case (February) 
  • Foundation receives permission from Supreme Court to join as intervenor to case (March)
  • Foundation files brief as intervenor in case (April)
  • Foundation files reply brief as intervenor in case (May)
  • Update on Foundation case (June)

 

Update: Good news. We don’t actually have subscribers to our blog.
Bad news. Just found out we don’t actually have subscribers to our blog.


Blogging For Work

Boss: “You blog every day, right?”

Me: “Yup!”

Boss: “So you can whip a few posts up about our last case, right? Should be a breeze!”

Me: * thinks about the story of the runaway watermelon that took 5 minutes to write *

Me: * thinks about the complicated civil procedure litigation we just finished that took weeks of research *

Me: “…yeeeeeep.”


Clerk of Courts

Today I got to walk across the street and deliver a brief to the clerk of courts. 

AKA, my favorite activity ever.

Since I started my job about a year and a half ago, delivering a physical copy of the completed brief became my particular role. And I love it. I love the feeling of walking with a giant stack of papers (why do 7 Supreme Court justices need 23 copies of the same 30+ page paper?!) I love walking in, handing them over, and receiving the confirming stamp. Then walking back. 

I get such a thrill from it. All that energy and hours of work climaxing in the moment I walk through the doors of the Clerk of Court.

The only thing more fun might be getting the decision back from the Supreme Court. But even then I’m not sure. The buildup is the best.