Externships- Solo Practitioner and Federal Magistrate Judge

alisonby Alison Schoettler, Class of 2018

My name is Alison Schoettler, and I am a rising 3L from Silver Spring, MD. I graduated from the College of William & Mary in 2011 with a B.A. in Sociology, and I spent four years working in the Washington, DC area after college. After working for a few years, I decided to go to law school. William & Mary was the natural choice for me, and I’ve enjoyed being back in Williamsburg. At the Law School, I am a Legal Practice Fellow and on the Executive Board of Law Review. I returned to Washington, DC for both summers, spending my 1L summer working for a federal agency and my 2L summer working for a law firm.

When I graduated from college, I knew I wanted to go to graduate school, but I was not quite sure what type of degree I wanted to pursue. After working for a few years, I realized I wanted to pursue a law degree, so I began exploring various law school programs. Because my decision to return to law school was driven in large part by my work experience after college, I knew I wanted to continue to explore the legal profession through externships during the school year. So, during my law school search, I looked for a school where I would be able to get not only classroom experience during the school year, but I would also get real-world experience. I was thrilled when I discovered William & Mary encouraged their students to enroll in externships during the semester and gain the type of experience I was looking for.

I enrolled for an externship the first semester I could, during fall of my 2L year. I spent the semester working for a small practitioner in the Williamsburg area. I enjoyed the experience so much; as a result, I decided to extern in my spring semester as well. I spent my spring working for a federal magistrate judge in Richmond. Both experiences exposed me to areas of law I had not yet had the opportunity to work in, and it provided me with the opportunity to grow my legal skills in a real-world environment. I consider these experiences among my favorite and most valuable in law school so far. I am so happy that William & Mary’s academic program enabled me to take advantage of these opportunities, and I highly encourage anyone who is considering externing to do so.