This summer Notre Dame Law school students held over 50 federal and state summer clerkships or internships. Twenty-seven students worked with federal judges, and the rest worked with state or local judges. Law students gained experience with judges throughout the country in district, circuit, appeals, trial, and bankruptcy courts.
Second year law student Jennifer Brougham shares her experience about her clerkship with Chief Judge Paul Maloney and Magistrate Judge Hugh Brenneman, both of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan.
"Serving in chambers this summer proved to be an invaluable experience and one that will have a lasting impact on my legal career. By observing the inner workings of the judicial process, I was able to connect the dots between my theoretical textbook understanding of how the law works on paper to how it works in reality. Approaching issues from the judge's perspective taught me how critical it is to extrapolate the pivotal issue(s) of the case, clearly and briefly articulate the best argument(s), and know when to make a concession. Watching attorneys in action enabled me to identify and internalize key attributes for success and potential pitfalls. Due to the variety of legal issues, of a civil and criminal nature, I was able to sharpen and expand my substantive knowledge and hone my research and writing skills (thanks to lots of practice and constructive feedback). Additionally, I learned the value of the three R's - relationships, respect, and reputation - both in and out of the courtroom. Finally, and on a more personal level, I now have a relationship with a judge whom I deeply respect and who I can call my mentor and friend."