Monthly Archives: December 2011

You are almost through with exams …

 

Comments Off on You are almost through with exams …

Filed under Uncategorized

Do clients take a break at the end of each semester?

In the clinics, we represent “live” clients which means, students represent real individuals with real legal problems.  At the end of each fall, spring and summer semester, there is always a span of time between finals and the beginning of the new semester where students are generally not spending time in the clinic.  So, what happens to the clients?  Do they get a vacation too?  The short answer is “no.”  If a case gets scheduled for a hearing, if a client calls with an emergency, or if the client just needs general information, the student clinician is expected to address those issues–promptly.  At the end of each semester, students are required to send all clients letters explaining the transition from one semester to another.  These letters generally explain what each client should do if they need assistance during the break, as well as expectations for clinic hours for students and professors during the break.  One of the biggest bar complaints by clients is lack of communication by their lawyer.  By following these simple steps and setting expectations for how clients can stay connected to the clinic during a semester break, student clinicians are keeping the client well-informed. . .and a well-informed client is a happy client.

Comments Off on Do clients take a break at the end of each semester?

Filed under Uncategorized

Tip #5 for a Successful Internship

This week, I am featuring a guest blogger who is a student in the Atlanta Networking Club, Andrew Weegar.  Andrew did an amazing job of networking last year to find internships with two firms last summer.  Andrew will share his insight from a student’s perspective on how to have a successful internship.               

Be professional, have fun, be social, and NETWORK while you are at the firm. Being professional means showing up early or on time everyday and being dressed appropriately, which means business dress unless you are told otherwise. It is a good idea to drive by the office that you will be working at before you start there to make sure you have parking and the location figured out. On your first day you will likely be asked if you had any problems finding the place or parking, and being able to say you came up a day before to make sure you knew where everything was is a good way to show your employer that you’re taking the internship seriously. Also, go out to lunch with your co-workers whenever possible and talk with them when things are slow, making sure you steer away from legal/work issues when appropriate. Ask the attorneys you are working with if you can go to meetings with them or meet other lawyers they know. Go to bar events with the lawyers  and ask them to introduce you to others. During the summer, bar sections expect interns to attend events, so they can be a great way to meet other lawyers in the area. Also, it may be a good idea to get business cards made with your contact information on them. It is convenient to just hand someone a card with all your information on it so they will remember you when you contact them. Networking should be one of your top priorities at your internship, and most attorneys are more than willing to help you network whenever possible.

Comments Off on Tip #5 for a Successful Internship

Filed under Uncategorized

Tip #4 for a Successful Internship

This week, I am featuring a guest blogger who is a student in the Atlanta Networking Club, Andrew Weegar.  Andrew did an amazing job of networking last year to find internships with two firms last summer.  Andrew will share his insight from a student’s perspective on how to have a successful internship.        

Another good tip for your first internship is to ask questions about your assignments if you are unsure exactly what you should do.  However, it is just as important to understand who you should ask certain types of questions. For example, at my internships I quickly learned that I shouldn’t waste the attorneys’ time with questions about where files are, very general stylistic writing questions, or basic questions regarding very common and routine issues the firm deals with. In these situations it is best to ask a paralegal or secretary for their help, assuming you cannot find the answer yourself first. During your internship you will see how busy attorneys really are and how much they charge for their time.  It is ideal if you waste as little of their time as possible with issues that other people in the office can address. This is not to say that paralegals’ and secretaries’ time is not important, and you need to figure out what you should and should not ask support staff, as well, as they can be just as busy as the attorneys. Remember, you were hired to help make everyone’s work load a little easier and to learn about how the legal profession actually works. Figuring out who to ask and when to ask questions can be the hardest part of your internship.  Of course, most people are very understanding with new law students, so don’t be afraid to ask if you really need the help.

Stay tuned for more tips…

Comments Off on Tip #4 for a Successful Internship

Filed under Uncategorized