This summer I was selected to work in Judge Hill’s chambers for my externship. I have to say that the experience has been wonderful so far. The staff in Judge Hill’s chambers are so friendly and willing to help with any question I may have. I met with my judge almost every day to discuss my assignments. The writing skills that I have learned in my first year have helped tremendously. The writing style is different from what we have learned, however, the skills are the same. For a pre-hearing memo, the page range can be anywhere from 3 to 12 pages. Though similar to other memos you intertwine your facts, rules and application together into one paragraph.
In my first week, I have had two assignments. The length of the assignments vary based on the topic my first assignment only took a day and a half, whereas my next assignment took over a week.
The case I am currently working one is a case of first impression under a juvenile statute, so Judge Hill believes that it should be a published case. Knowing that this will likely be published has added a TON of pressure! This case was graded as a C+ for the Court of Appeals; however, it does not seem to be that simple. A C+ means that it is at the bottom of the food chain; it has only one main issue that the court will discuss. However, working on this case has shown me that just because the case has a low grade, it does not mean it’s an easy case to research.
Working at the Court of Appeals has really enhanced my issue spotting and has improved my writing skills. The goal in accepting this externship was to improve my writing technique. Luckily, I believe I am already making progress towards that goal.
Sadly, I wish I had known how much I would enjoy working in Judge Hill’s chambers before the fall/spring selections were announced, because I would have loved to work with Judge Hill all year!