August 25, 2017 12:08 PM
Our 2017 Summer Clerkship Program brought four law students for an intellectually challenging and professionally gratifying experience. Nearing the end of the program, the students agreed to share a few of the highlights about their summer.
Alina joined us from the Washington University School of Law, where she is Executive Articles Editor of the Washington University Journal of Law and Policy, Co-President and Pro Bono Committee Member of the Public Service Advisory Board, Treasurer of Phi Alpha Delta and an Auction Committee Member of the Women’s Law Caucus. She is expected to graduate in 2018.
Here is what she had to say about her summer at Shutts.
Q1. What did you do before coming to Shutts?
Before coming to Shutts, I went to a small, liberal arts college in North Carolina called Davidson College where I studied Anthropology and Ethnic Studies. While I was there, I worked as a Spanish Assistant Teacher and Tutor and as a Career Development Ambassador, where I helped students apply for jobs by performing mock interviews and reading over their resumes. I wrote for The Davidsonian, the school’s newspaper, and was treasurer of my eating house, Connor House. While at Davidson, I studied abroad for a semester in Shanghai, China. I learned some Mandarin, studied anthropology, and met many interesting people from around the world there.
Q2. What advice would you give to someone looking for a summer clerkship? What should they do to succeed in the position?
I would say to cast a wide net in your applications because the process is very competitive and because you will not really know how you feel about a firm until you go for an interview or informational interview and meet some people there. You should not rule out firms or other organizations before even applying. Make sure that your resume is clean and professional and that your writing sample is in tip-top shape. Make sure that all of your communications with anyone at the firm are professional and that your responses are timely. This is your only chance to make a good first impression.
Once you have some options, look for a place in which you feel comfortable and that will be a place where you will do your best work, learn from others, and grow as a future attorney. Once you choose a firm or organization and start working, in order to succeed you must have a positive attitude and be open to learning. Get to know people at your firm, only turn in your best work, and maintain a positive demeanor and you are sure to succeed!
Q3. What are your plans after the conclusion of the program?
When the program ends, I will take the MPRE and then take a few days off to be with my family before going on a short trip to Minneapolis to see my best friend from law school. I will be back in Miami for a few more days to pack and get my things together before going to study abroad in Hamburg, Germany at Bucerius Law School for the Fall of 2017 semester. I will be back in Miami for Christmas with my family and then I will head back to St. Louis to finish my last semester at Washington University.
Q4. What were your expectations and have they been met (or exceeded)?
After my interviews and getting to know some of the attorneys at Shutts, I expected that I would have a wonderful summer experience in which I would learn a lot, meet great people, and get a feel for what kind of law I might be interested in by working is as many areas of the law as possible. My expectations were exceeded at Shutts. I have learned to be a better writer and to work on my analytical skills in a way that I did not imagine could happen in such a short period of time. I have met so many people who have been extremely welcoming and helpful to me. Whenever I ask someone for help, even if they do not know the answer themselves, they know where to find it and help connect me with the right people. I have had the opportunity to work on substantive projects throughout the summer in many different areas of the law. I have helped edit contracts, write drafts of motions, and research many different topics that were used in court proceedings later on. My experience at Shutts has been a truly wonderful and enriching experience and I could not have hoped for more.
Established in 1910, Shutts & Bowen is a full-service business law firm with more than 260 lawyers with offices in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Sarasota, Tallahassee, Tampa and West Palm Beach. Learn more about Shutts & Bowen at www.shutts.com.