Vermont Bar Journal
Fall 2007 - #8.
Through the Looking-Glass: Reflections on a Summer Clerkship
THE VERMONT BAR JOURNAL FALL 2007
Through the Looking-Glass: Reflections on a Summer Clerkshipby Kimberly N. Chehardy & Lorrie R. Wilkes, Esq.
The summer clerkship is an integral part of the law school education. It provides students with an opportunity to explore different areas of law and apply concepts from their 1L and 2L years to real world problems. Essentially, it is a hands-on learning experience that allows law students to expand their wealth of knowledge while also working with attorney mentors, who become invaluable contacts in the professional legal world. The law clerk is not the only one who profits from the clerkship arrangement. Attorneys who have law clerks benefit from having a professional assistant--an extra set of hands to do legal research or interview clients. Law clerks give valuable assistance to lawyers, particularly to smaller firms and public interest organizations. Additionally, the attorney is presented with the unique opportunity to be a mentor, to groom the next generation of legal professionals.
This article is the story of one summer clerkship. It is told from the perspective of both attorney and clerk. Both discuss their experiences and the benefits of the attorney-clerk relationship.
The Clerk's Reflection: Kim Chehardy, 2L, Vermont Law School
I accepted a summer clerkship with Griffin, Marsicovetere, & Wilkes in December 2006. At the time I knew I wanted to explore the field of criminal defense, in particular public defense. However I recognized that as a 1L with only one semester behind me there was not a lot that I had to offer other than my enthusiasm for the job. Throughout spring semester I often imagined what my summer job would be like. I started reading up on criminal procedure so I would have a better understanding of the entire process of a criminal proceeding. Happily, my experiences at Griffin, Marsicovetere, & Wilkes far exceeded my expectations by giving me exposure not only to the criminal justice system but also to the daily operation of a small law firm.
During my clerkship, I worked almost exclusively in the public defense sector. The firm is contracted to do all public criminal defense for Windsor County. It provides defense for the indigent population of the county, both juvenile and adult, while also functioning as a private general practice firm. The value of this type of summer experience is the exposure to various types of legal practices. Not only did I have the opportunity to learn a great deal about...