By Eric Peters, Spring 2018 IAC Student Intern
As my semester and year in the Clinic comes to an end, I have a lot to be thankful for. I have had the opportunity to work with an array of brilliant and engaging people who have all pushed me to become better every step of the way, and the experience has been irreplaceable.
When I first started working in the Clinic last Fall, I didn’t quite know what to expect. While I knew student interns in the Clinic managed cases throughout the FINRA arbitration process, I didn’t know how hands-on the work would actually be. How extensive would my new role as a student attorney authorized to practice law under the supervision of a licensed attorney be? As I quickly found out, students in the Clinic are fully expected to be the attorney. Instead of working through fact patterns and writing essays on how situations should be analyzed, as had been the norm throughout my time in law school, I was thrust into the complex and real-life practice of law.
Instead of working with neat and complete facts with a set answer, I now had to choose among various solutions based on an incomplete set of information. Instead of aiding an attorney in reaching a decision, I was making the decisions. Although adjusting to this was a bit uncomfortable at first, it helped me find my voice as a lawyer. Working in the Clinic made me realize that the art of lawyering is highly individualized and that you must incorporate your own personality into your work in order to produce the best work product you can. There is no “perfect” version of lawyering. Each of us is enabled to view situations in a unique way, and working with my Clinic team has taught me that finding the best solutions for your client requires working together to unlock the advantages each person’s individualism brings to the table.
This is just one of the many lessons I have learned during my tenure as a student attorney working alongside Professor Iannarone. I am very thankful for the invaluable experiences I have had in the Clinic, as they have been critical in my journey to becoming the lawyer I want to be.