"I knew I wanted to participate in the D.C. Judicial Externship Program as soon as I began my 1L year, so I was thrilled when I was offered an externship at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
"As an extern, I had the incredible opportunity to review the entire record of a case that had developed over several years and prepare a bench memorandum for the judge. I then prepared the judge for oral argument and was able to feed him questions to ask the parties during the actual motions hearing. Being able to see a project through from start to finish and really do meaningful work was a highlight of my law school experience. I owe much of my success to Professor Perdue’s Judicial Clerkship course that accompanied the externship – the class component taught me transferrable skills that set me apart from my co-interns and allowed me to take on more challenging, substantive projects.
"But the best part of my externship was not only the quality of the work I was given. While in D.C., I made some of the most meaningful professional and personal connections I’ve made in my life. My judge remains a professional connection who was incredibly supportive and helpful during my 2L summer job search, and he remains interested in my career plans as they develop. The law clerk with whom I worked most closely is now a friend. Finally, Professor Perdue provided us with Wake Law alums to serve as mentors, resources, and listening ears throughout the summer.
"Externing at D.D.C. was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. I would encourage any law student who would like to clerk, work in D.C., or simply discover who they are as a person and a future attorney to participate. Through this experience, I confirmed that D.C. is where I want to be, and that practicing law is absolutely the right path for my life."
"It is important that students take a summer position that provides them with an opportunity to become the best lawyer possible. The D.C. Judicial Externship Program provides such an opportunity. As an extern at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, I worked on legal memoranda, conducted research, presented a capstone project to the Judge and his law clerks, and observed oral arguments. On top of the amazing experience of working in Chambers, Professor Perdue’s accompanying Judicial Clerkship course provides an all-star lineup of engaging guest speakers that cover a vast array of practice areas and industries from animal law to in-house counsel to the Department of Justice. This Program is well-rounded and aids in the development of law students as they transform into young lawyers. In part due to my participation in the Program, I was able to secure a summer associate position at a prominent D.C. law firm and look forward to reconnecting with the D.C. Deacons I met during D.C. Summer Judicial Externship Program. Therefore, I highly recommend it."
Lucas will work as a summer associate at a prominent D.C. law firm.
"There were many reasons I was drawn to Wake Forest Law School, but one major reason was the D.C. Summer Judicial Externship Program. This program is hands down the most amazing way a student can spend his/her summer after 1L year. Having the opportunity to both work for a federal judge and take Professor Perdue's informative class on Judicial Clerking makes this program an invaluable experience that has helped me decide my career path. The program allows you to connect with Wake Forest Law alumni, attend field trips, have lunch with multiple D.C. judges, and more. I will be forever grateful that Wake Law provided me this opportunity and encourage any student to take advantage of this program."
"The D.C. Judicial Externship Program was one of the best experiences I have ever had. The Program not only provides you the opportunity to further hone your writing and researching skills while externing alongside federal or D.C. circuit judges, but it also provides you the opportunity to observe federal circuit oral arguments. Moreover, Professor Perdue’s class, which is tailored to judicial clerking, is instructive and coincides with many of the assignments you will be working on in your placement. The Program also offers great networking opportunities and field trips to sites around D.C., including the White House and Supreme Court of the United States. Finally, the Program opens the door for many job opportunities outside of clerking. Overall, the D.C. Program is a valuable and fun experience!"
Vanessa will clerk at the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
"Unlike most of my classmates, I entered into law school without clear plans after graduation. While my peers had aspirations of joining a certain firm or litigating in a specific practice, my only goal was to try and survive my first semester. These uncertainties would have remained had it not been for Professor Perdue's D.C. Summer Judicial Externship program.
"In D.C., Professor Perdue took great efforts to match each of us with personal mentors, all Wake Law graduates that work in D.C., who, along with her, graciously met and took care of us during our stay. Additionally, Professor Perdue set up luncheons with corporate litigators, government attorneys, federal judges and law clerks, and even Wake Law graduates in interesting non-legal professions. These information sessions with practicing graduates were incredible, and this alone was worth the summer experience — especially for anyone who is unsure of their future career.
"But, undoubtedly, the best part of the D.C. Program is how much it has improved my writing. Working at the Federal Circuit as an extern was both exciting and frightening. Patent law was something foreign to me as well as judicial writing. But over the summer, I learned how to become a more effective researcher, communicator, legal writer, and editor. As a result, I returned to Wake Forest feeling more confident and capable about my skills. I just obtained a post-graduate clerkship and feel prepared to hit the ground running due to my participation in the D.C. Summer Judicial Externship Program."
Yawara will be clerking at the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
"The D.C. Judicial Externship Program has shaped my current understanding of the legal profession and solidified my future career aspirations. During my summer with the D.C. Program, our class worked through an international trade case being heard at the Federal Circuit. This ignited my interest in international trade issues and gave me the confidence to competently discuss the field with practitioners. I also honed legal writing and research skills that I consistently rely on in my position as the Senior Articles Editor for the Wake Forest Law Review.
"The Program is designed to develop students' professionalism as well. These lessons were crucial as I interviewed at large Washington law firms and in OCIs. Ultimately I was hired as a summer associate at the Washington, D.C. office of Wiley Rein, LLP, a prominent firm with a robust international trade practice. I will return there full-time upon graduation. The externship and course components of the D.C. Summer Judicial Externship Program helped me expand my career vision and develop the skills necessary to make it happen."
John Allen will join a prominent D.C. law firm.
"Deciding to participate in the Washington D.C. Summer Judicial Externship was the best decision I made at Wake Forest. This fantastic program allows students to garner real experience through judicial externships. I spent my 1L summer working alongside lawyers under the tutelage of an experienced jurist, and subsequent employers have told me that my meaningful, substantive work during my first summer set me apart. The Program also propelled me into the fall semester where I earned my highest grades of law school.
"Each week, lawyers come to speak to the class who range in experience from private practice, prosecutors, government agencies, in-house counsel, and judges. Through the amazing network of D.C. Deacons that I met through the Program, I was able to secure an internship for my 2L summer at the Department of Justice. In addition to improving my writing and helping me secure a coveted internship, the Program also reinforced my desire to clerk after graduation.
"Due to the experience gained during the Program and its accompanying experiential course on judicial clerking, I obtained a post-graduate federal clerkship and felt confident that I could perform it well. I knew what I should prioritize and how to effectively communicate with my judge. In fact, my judge told me that he hired me in part because of my previous experience in the D.C. Summer Judicial Externship Program. Now I am working as an associate at a D.C. law firm, and my journey began by participating in the D.C. Summer Judicial Externship Program."
Joey obtained a federal clerkship and now works at a prominent law firm in D.C.
"Spending the summer after my first year of law school as a judicial extern was remarkably beneficial to my legal education and career path. As my first legal job, it gave me an opportunity to learn from my judge, his assistant, and his clerks, who were all brilliant and eager to help me learn and grow as a soon-to-be attorney. My writing, communication, and presentation skills notably improved as a direct result of the feedback and encouragement I received through the externship and judicial clerking course. I learned by example while working closely with talented attorneys on a daily basis. Chambers was a wonderful environment for learning."
Katye works at a prominent law firm in North Carolina.