First Year Student Summer Spotlight: Jordan Duncan

This summer has been very busy. I am externing for Federal Magistrate Judge Sebelius, working as a student clerk for the Third Judicial District Court of Kansas, and drafting my comment for Washburn Law Journal.

I spend two days a week at the Federal Courthouse working in Judge Sebelius’s Chambers. I couldn't have asked for a better externship. The Judge, clerks, and the courtroom deputy are so helpful and wiling to answer all my questions. Every week I am working on a new case and I get to observe all types different hearings. So far I have witnessed Scheduling, Rule 5, Bond, Detention, Sentencing, and Voir Dire hearings. This past week I observed a criminal jury trial. I have also been able to interact with the prosecuting attorneys of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas and discuss the cases they are prosecuting.

At the Shawnee County Court House I am one of six students who form a pool of research staff. It is really great to work with other students and discuss legal issues on a daily basis. On my first day I was assigned a case dealing with bank fraud and since then, I have worked on range of issues from the state offender registration system to motions by pro se prisoners.

At both courthouses I get to research and write both pre-opinion memoranda and draft opinions. It has been fantastic to work directly with judges and have my opinion valued. I have gained a new perspective of the legal system and confidence in my choice to go to law school.

I would advise every student to find a place to intern or work over the summer. The experience is invaluable. Over the summer I have seen the bigger picture of being an attorney and the legal system, not a picture that I saw during my first year of classes.

After working I usually spend a couple evenings a week and the weekend at the law library working on my comment. Being on the Washburn Law Journal gave me the opportunity to research and write over a topic of my choice and develop my own perspective on a recent court opinion and its effect on the law.

The small free time I have is spent with my fiancé and two dogs. Although I am thoroughly enjoying my busy summer, I am ready for classes to begin.