Reflecting on 2L Summer Internship


Reflection — Consideration of some subject matter, idea, or purpose.”
-Merriam Webster’s Dictionary

Oh, what can I say about my summer internship other than it was amazing!  From the time I was 10, I’ve wanted to work for a big corporation as some sort of executive.  Obviously, you don’t go straight into becoming an executive so I have to start somewhere small, and I think a legal intern fits that bill.  I really enjoyed the work I did this summer and I have the opportunity to continue working at the company for this school year.  I also had to meet with my advisor today to discuss my internship so this post is super timely.

What I Did

One of the things I loved about my internship was the variety of projects/tasks that I got to work on.  Because an in-house legal department has to function as essentially a mini law firm, I had the opportunity to pretty much work on every type of law they deal within the legal department.  I worked on a variety of real estate projects, such as renewing leases, drafting lease amendments, drafting property sale agreements.  I also worked on a variety of research projects regarding HR matters and even a personal jurisdiction issue!  I also did a lot of contract review on large accounts and customer accounts.  I also was pulled into a litigation matter and am super excited to continue with this work.

What I Learned

Since I took property well over a year ago, I basically relearned some of the major concepts from property.  I also learned a lot about the deviation of power between the legal department and the business people of a corporation.  While a lot of business management states they need legal to sign off on something, all that means is that the legal department tells the business side the risks associated with what they want to do and the business side takes it from there.  I also learned about the distribution of power between inside and outside counsel.  In those types of relationships, in-house counsel acts more as a buffer between the client (the company) and the outside counsel.  I definitely felt that most of the times, the in-house attorney would tell the outside counsel what they wanted to get done and the outside counsel would do it.  There were times where the outside lawyer was advising the attorney I was working with on what they thought was best in the situation.  I also really learned about the dynamics between a more senior attorney and lower level attorney.  Last summer, I worked for a judge so I only worked under a single attorney, which is a completely different environment.

What I Recommend

If working in house is something that interests you, definitely look for opportunities to intern at a company.  You might not get paid, but it’s totally worth it.  I think it gives you a new perspective on what a lawyer does.  It’s not something that the general public knows about because every lawyer show focuses on civil or criminal litigation.  I also highly recommend being kind and respectful of everyone in the department, like the paralegals and legal assistants.  The paralegals I worked with are amazing and so so knowledgeable about everything so it was great using them as a sounding board and absorbing as much information from them as possible.

In other exciting news, I’m continuing to work there this school year as a paid intern!  Let me know what you were up to this summer!  I’d love to hear about it.

Law School Prep Books Update


Fact-finding--"The process of taking evidence to determine the truth about a disputed point.”
-Black's Law Dictionary

I’ve been planning this update about these books for a while, and ironically, my law school assigned readings from these books for the 1Ls.  If you’ve been with my blog since the beginning or have read all of my posts, you’ve probably read my post on What I’m Reading to Prep for Law School.  Now that I’m going into my 3L year, I felt that it was a good time to look back on these “law school prep books” and see if they were worth buying and reading.  So, if you are starting law school soon (maybe in the next few weeks!) and just want to feel a little more comfortable with the journey, check out one of these books to see what they have to say about law school!

Reading Like a Lawyer-Ruth Ann McKinney

When I wrote my initial post on law school prep books, I hadn’t read this book yet, but I ended up reading it this summer and am kinda regretting not reading it earlier.  As dumb as this sounds, it truly helps you to read like a lawyer.  Law school reading is a different beast than “fun” reading or any other type of reading you may have done for undergrad.  McKinney provides an acronym for how to approach reading law school cases, EMPOWER, which I find to be a great starting point until reading and briefing cases becomes second nature.  A lot of her tips are things that I picked up on after a semester of case reading but would have been helpful to read prior to going to law school.  Something I also really liked about this book is that she included examples of briefing cases at the end of every chapter to help work on those particular skills discussed in the chapter. 

Getting to Maybe-Richard Michael Fischl and Jeremy Paul

I also highly recommend reading this book prior to law school or law school exams.  It explains how to approach law school exams in a more in depth way than just stating the IRAC method.  It really goes into how to write out a law school exam answer rather than just saying “It depends.”  I like their forks methodology.  The authors explain writing an answer by considering the answer as having two forks that you can go down, picking and explaining one, and then switching to the other fork.  I’ve found that a lot of law school professors really like answers that include some form of “in response to that argument, the other party would say…”.  This gets a thumbs up from me.

Open Book-Barry Friedman and John Goldberg

This is another winner.  I think if you really want to know how to take notes and how to apply what you learn in class to studying and taking exams, this is the book for you.  I know during my first couple weeks, I noticed that some people really focused on the minute factual details of a case that really didn’t matter.  The authors really explain what to focus on when reading cases for class and synthesizing the material into something that is easy to study and memorize.  It goes over case briefing, IRAC, writing exam answers (in depth discussion of each IRAC component), outlining, multiple choice exams, etc.  The book also has a digital component that has model answers for some of the hypotheticals in the book itself, sample outlines, class notes, how to read statutes, and even practice exams for all of the 1L classes.  I definitely recommend this book if you want a whole overview of a law school class from reading homework to taking exams.

Planet Law School II-Atticus Falcon

I had my qualms about this book in my initial post.  I found the book to be a good overview of the entire law school process with a few good points.  However, I think it was a little too depressing about the entire law school experience.  Is law school always rainbows and cute puppies/kittens?  No.  Have I felt like I wanted to drop out and I wasn’t cut out for law school?  Yes.  But I think the author of this book thinks law school is a huge scam and law school professors really are just in their ivory towers and don’t care about anything but their jobs.  I haven’t really found law school to be that way, I think professors do actually care about their students and enjoy talking about everything related to the law.  I can sum up some of the advice that I thought helped me in law school:  Buy E&Es because they’re a great way of reviewing material from class that may be a little confusing and put it in layman’s terms.  Because of the lack of availability of this book on Amazon, you may want to look to other law school blogs for much of the helpful advice this book provides.

Three out of four books with good reviews isn’t bad!  Should I do a part two on these types of reviews?  What law school books would you like me to review as a part of this series.  Let me know on Twitter, Insta, or send me an email below!
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