On January 7, I started a judicial externship. I am working for a judge in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California. While I am sure I will have more to say in a couple of months, I thought I would give a brief overview of what I’m doing there.
- The Chambers. The judge I am working for emphasizes camaraderie and team work. I am lucky to be working with 3 other externs, all of whom go to Loyola. They’re all funny, super-smart, and genuinely fun to be around. The days fly by. Additionally, the Judge’s staff includes two clerks and a secretary. The Judge LOVES baked goods and encourages us all to bring them in at all times. I brought in brownies yesterday but forgot to pop my head into his office to let him know they were there. Later, he told me “We contemplated firing you…feel free to interrupt me in cases of emergency.” Gotta love a federal judge with a sense of humor!
- The Work. The program in place is really awesome. Each week, we are all assigned one or two motions that are pending before the judge to research. We prepare a workup of the motion (also known as a memorandum). We submit an outline version to one one of the clerks, who then meets with us and gives us substantive feedback. Then, we prepare a final draft. Before it is submitted to the clerks, one of our fellow externs peer edits our paper. Finally, the memos we prepare go to the judge for his approval. It’s awesome to be able to research and learn about real legal issues in real cases. Definitely different from sitting in class.
- The Surroundings. I get to spend a lot of time in the heart of DTLA. While my law school is close by (and I externed in this general area over the summer), I’m getting to check a whole bunch of new-to-me eateries off the list. During the first week, we headed to a kebab place (reminded me of Spain) in Little Tokyo called Spitz. Yesterday, my fellow externs and I headed to Wurstkuche. I will never a hot dog this delicious again. INCREDIBLE.
I’m really enjoying this experience so far – but I am going to be BUSY this semester. I’m also taking a class (Evidence) and have obligations with the journal I’m on and the Vis Moot team. It will be crazy, but a different sort of crazy…stay tuned!