The panelists discussed a wide range of topics, including judges’ selection criteria for externs, the “do’s and don’ts” of interviewing, and the type of work assigned to externs in their respective courts. They also emphasized that externs have the opportunity to observe many different court proceedings.
Judge Segal advised students that the most important thing to get out of their externship is to improve their legal research and writing skills. “It is how lawyers communicate, and it is the most important thing you will do in your career,” she said. “An externship will teach you to succinctly and persuasively get the attention of the judge,” Judge O’Connell added.
In addition to discussing how valuable the experience can be for law students, the panelists also noted that the “fresh perspective” from externs and their enthusiasm for learning are highly appreciated in chambers. Judge Klein, who moderated the event, said that she uses the externship program as a chance to both teach and learn from the students. She also described the high level of staff interaction within chambers and referred to her law clerks and externs as “family.”
The event had a great turnout and was an overwhelming success. It was a truly unique opportunity for law students to hear firsthand how a judicial externship can supplement and enrich their legal education and their legal careers.