By Robert Noens, Spring 2017 Student Intern
Where to begin? My time as a clinic I intern is coming to an end, and I can honestly say that my time spent in the Investor Advocacy Clinic was my most valuable experience I had in law school. I entered the clinic wanting two things: First, I wanted a better understanding of commercial litigation after having participated in the Business Arbitration Practicum. Second, I wanted a better understanding of what it takes to be a practicing attorney. I can now say, I accomplished both tasks, and the clinic far exceeded all expectations.
To the extent of furthering my understanding of commercial litigation, I have now seen just about every step of a FINRA claim short of an arbitration hearing. I can read financial statements, calculate net out of pocket losses, read contracts, look at a portfolio’s risk distribution, figure out different claims, and proceed to incorporate all the information into a statement of claim. My holistic viewpoint has even given me the confidence that I need to go into my summer job, at a small business litigation firm, knowing that I can get the job done. Moreover, I attribute my clinic experience to ultimately leading to my summer employment.
Finally, the clinic allowed me to achieve another large goal of mine – becoming as practice-ready as possible. When I entered law school, I did not want to eventually leave school and bumble over myself when I finally got into practice. The clinic has single-handled given the edge I wanted. While I do not think that I am ready to handle a full case start to finish without any supervision, I know I can ask the right questions, get my work done, make recommendations, and be a valuable asset to any employer. Personally, that confidence and that skill are the most valuable things that I will take away from the clinic. It gave me a taste of what it is like to be an attorney. For that reason, I am extremely grateful, and I will return as a clinic II intern.