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.

Speaker Series: Judge Katzmann Comes to Town

willisby Blake Willis, Class of 2018

One of the perks of being in law school, especially at William & Mary, is being able to hear from practitioners about their experiences in the practice of law. During the first week of April, Judge Robert Katzmann, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit paid a visit to Williamsburg. Judge Katzmann spoke to several groups including a lunch-time talk regarding pro bono work and immigration law, as well as a class lecture regarding legislative and statutory interpretation.

Image result for Judge Robert KatzmannJudge Katzmann has been on the bench since 1999, and has been the Chief Judge of the Second Circuit since 2013. He has published numerous books related to the Courts and Congress and how Courts around the US, especially the Courts of Appeals and Supreme Court approach statutory interpretation – a growing area of scholarship in the law.

As a student, there are few experiences more valuable than listening to a judge, especially one of this esteem, speak about their experiences on the bench. In his discussion related to legislative interpretation, Judge Katzmann spoke with students regarding his theories of interpretation as well as those commonly used by other Judges around the U.S. He also provided insight into his experiences in scholarship and provided tips for students who are aspiring to litigate in their careers. This insight surely did not fall on deaf ears. Students could ask probing questions and interact with the Judge in a non-court setting, which is truly a unique experience.

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