My name is Robbie Jones, and I am a rising 2L. I am from DeLand, Florida (just outside Orlando). Before coming to William & Mary, I attended Stetson University in Florida where I received my B.A. in Political Science in 2014. While an undergrad, I worked for my local Congressman and interned with a state circuit court judge. I came to William & Mary because I felt the strong sense of community when I visited the school. At William & Mary, I am on Law Review and the Moot Court team. I am also an Academic Success Program TA. Some of my favorite non-law school activities are sports, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
The summer job search can be an exciting, yet daunting activity for a 1L. After all, I had just barely figured out how to adequately prepare for classes, and it was time for me to start thinking about what I wanted to do during the summer. Of course, the Office of Career Services (OCS) was giving us all the help and advice we needed, but it was still a big decision to think about. I knew I wanted to try to work for a federal judge if possible, so I figured the best place to start would be looking for William & Mary alumni who were judges. Fortunately, I found Judge Gregory Presnell, a United States District Judge, located in Orlando who is also an undergrad alum from William & Mary. I reached out to the judge, interviewed during winter break and was hired before I headed back for school!
The lesson I learned through all of this is the importance of just reaching out to people already in the profession. When I reached out to Judge Presnell, he agreed to meet with me without knowing my grades, involvement at school, or really anything. I saw firsthand the greatness of the W&M alumni network. As important as credentials are, I’ve learned that this is a profession where connections matter. All it took was sending an email to a federal judge (and the W&M connection!) to realize my summer job goal.
Now that I’m working, I have learned so much. Judge Presnell gives me hands-on experience and treats me just like one of his law clerks. I have written court orders, given my input on pending issues, and observed almost every type of court proceeding in existence. Judge Presnell will definitely be a mentor of mine long after my internship is finished. Having a first-year summer job in a place that allows you to see the practical side of the legal profession is a priceless experience. I am so thankful to William & Mary for providing me with such great opportunities thus far!