By Alisa Radut, Fall 2017 IAC Student Intern
What I enjoyed the most about my time in the clinic is the experience of doing “real” work, for real people. This experience encompassed all aspects of taking on a case, from gathering information from the potential client, to assessing what is important, to researching the legal authority, and to making determinations of what steps to take going forward. The satisfaction from learning something that is not only new, but difficult to understand, and being able to fit the pieces together is a very rewarding experience.
Working in the clinic has taught me several important lessons. One of the most important of these, I’d say, is the ability to determine when my decision, work, or determination pertaining to a case is “good enough.” From the very first stages of initiating a case, decisions are made as to what needs to be done to move forward, sometimes yielding more than one correct answer. As I have learned, one best answer doesn’t exist, and in order to maintain efficiency and progress, I must pick an answer that is “good enough” and move forward. This is probably also the hardest lesson I’ve learned, as it involves trusting my own instincts, knowledge, and ability to make decisions determinative to the case.
My experience in the clinic helped teach me valuable skills I will carry with me into legal practice. It has helped me realize my weaknesses and strengths in dealing with legal research and writing, working with team members, and time management and efficiency. When I first joined the clinic, I wanted to enrich my experience as a future attorney, by helping people solve real problems. Looking back on that experience, I realize I’ve come a long way.