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Student Comments

Michael J. Garcia, Pepperdine University School of Law, Class of 2008

“The idea that I almost passed up on the opportunity to take this course still gives me chills when I think about it.  It was hands down one of the greatest decisions I made, not only in my career, but in my personal life, to take this course.  My biggest frustration with college was that everything was theoretical.  I wanted to see the principles I learned about applied in practice. This program provided that opportunity.  I had the pleasure of meeting lots of judges, lawyers and other court officers, all of whom were approachable and willing to share their experiences and offer advice, some of which I maintain relationships with today.  For example, as a law student at Pepperdine, I was fortunate enough to win an award for an appellate brief that my partner and I wrote for an interschool moot court competition.  It was one of the proudest moments.  Yet, having my mentor, the Honorable Judge James B. Pierce, take the trip from Long Beach all the way out to Malibu to be there for the event meant the world to me.  This is only one example of the types of relationships and invaluable benefits that a student can obtain by participating in this program.  And, with accessible faculty like Dr. Ringel who truly care about the success of the students and the program, I cannot recommend it enough.”

Gary Gomez, Class of 2006 and currently at Wisconsin Law School says:

“The Judicial Internship I participated in through POSC 418 provided me with insight into judicial operations and the legal profession that no amount of reading or lecture could have provided.  The experience is a unique opportunity in that I have yet to meet another fellow student here at the University of Wisconsin Law School with as clear an understanding of how courtrooms work.  During my internship I had the opportunity to interview judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys about their careers and their daily work experience.  I also had the opportunity watch them at their craft both in the courtroom and in the judge’s chambers.  Even those classmates of mine that have worked at law firms don’t have the same insight into how a courtroom is run.  All of the judges and lawyers were generous with their time, and were willing to assist me in any way possible.  Anyone that participates in the program will greatly benefit for years to come, whether or not they ultimately end up in law school. I enthusiastically encourage anyone considering a legal career to participate.”

 

Cory Scott, Intern Class of 2006

“I would recommend taking POSC 418 to anyone, whether they are interested in law or not, but especially if they have any aspirations of pursing a career in the legal arena. The people and events that you get exposed to are invaluable, no other experience could give you the understanding of our legal system the way POSC 418 does. Learning about it in class is one thing, sitting in court watching someone get sentenced gives you a whole new perspective. One of my fellow interns, Gary Gomez, who is now in his first year at the University of Wisconsin School of Law, has told me that the things we learned in POSC 418 give you a significant advantage when entering law school, as you have already seen how attorneys, judges, and the legal process work inside the court room. I am in the process of deciding which law school I will attend in the fall, and I would not hesitate to say that my acceptance to many schools has been at the very least been marginally based on my experience in POSC 418, and the people I met during my internship. POSC 418 and POSC 417 (moot court) were perhaps the two most valuable, and influential classes I took during my entire collegiate career.”

 

Erik Aho, Intern Class of 2006

“The best thing POSC 418 provides students is experience in a legal environment. Through interaction with judges, attorneys, and court staff, interns learn more than they could ever by simply reading about the American judicial system in a textbook. The internship teaches students how to network with legal professionals and create valuable contacts. The internship is what you make of it. I would encourage students to make the internship a priority and make the most of this opportunity so that it will benefit them later in life.”

 

Melissa Nonsrichai, Intern Class of 2006

“I took POSC 418 because the American legal system has always fascinated me and you just can not learn all of what the justice system has to offer without truly observing it for yourself. I was not always sure I wanted to go into law, but I did know that an opportunity like this does not come around often! I would tell interns to really make sure to do ‘your rounds.’
Make sure you talk to as many judges as possible, they all have such different backgrounds. Some of the more interesting stuff comes from courtrooms you’d least expect it. It might not always come from the criminal courtrooms, but the juvenile and family courtrooms as well.”