Motions and Emotions – Clerkships Give Students a Taste for How the Law Works
June 15, 2007
“Flattering and terrifying at the same time, but mostly terrifying.” That’s how one clerk now working at an area law firm described what it’s like to be handed a case file and told to file a motion. This is the essence of clerking for a firm — a year-long experience, in most cases, which provides an invaluable line on a resume, but, more importantly, forms a bridge between the classroom and the courtroom.
Beth Lux had no idea just how “messy” life can get. “It’s been really eye-opening and interesting to see how people treat each other and to see how business is actually conducted in the real world,” she told BusinessWest. “It’s amazing; you’ll be reading, and say to yourself, ‘wow … she said what?’ and ‘he did what?’ It’s really messy out there.”
Gaining an appreciation for this dark side of society has been just one of many learning experiences Lux has taken home — and will soon take to her profession — from her work as a law clerk at the Springfield firm Bacon & Wilson and involvement with litigation involving everything from business disputes to property borderline squabbles.
Beyond the large dose of reality, she’s also acquired a real taste of what it’s like to be a lawyer, something she said a textbook, as well written as it may be, simply can’t provide.
“It’s definitely different than being in the classroom; I learned how to formulate a strategy and attack a problem,” she said, adding that she’s learned by doing, and also watching and listening. “I spent a lot of time sitting in attorneys’ offices listening to them talk to the clients on the phone. It gave me a chance to observe how to talk to clients, handle certain situations, and learn which questions to ask. It was … incredible.”
That’s a word you hear often…
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by: George O’Brien
June 11, 2007