This summer, I went back home to San Francisco, California. Is there any other San Francisco? Probably not, but law school has trained me to be as concise and precise as possible. Fortunately, blogging gives me the freedom to add my own style on how I want to write.
I was able to go back to the bay area thanks to the American Bar Association’s litigation department. There was a program called the Judicial Internship Opportunity Program (JIOP), which placed applicants all across America with participating state or federal judges. I am open to sharing my application experience and summer experience to anyone who would like to know more.
I spent this summer clerking for the Honorable Newton J. Lam of San Francisco Superior Court. It sounds very majestic and final with the word “superior” in the title. However, there is also the California Courts of Appeal, and the real final decision maker, the California Supreme Court. Nonetheless, I biked to the Civic Center courthouse when I could and drove to the Juvenile Justice Center because I was too much of a wimp to bike up the hill towards Twin Peaks. I did not have any trial court experience before this and finally got to peer behind the curtains.
On my first day, I felt eager, nervous, and excited. I observed jury selection of a personal injury case. I then read a tentative opinion of a complex litigation matter. As the days went on, I did a variety of research on case law on the issues that arose during trial. I put my little appellate experience to use and made some recommendations on the opinion. Our department was then given a juvenile homicide after the personal injury trial. We still worked on a variety of civil matters as parties sent in their motions, but focused primarily on the many legal issues around the juvenile homicide. It felt great.
There was more than just the work during this internship. JIOP had its former interns who were now attorneys mentor us. It was a “what you make of it” type of program. I tried to make of it what I could in the short ten weeks but my heart was yearning to be back in Oregon. I enjoyed the 56-degree weather and fog on most days. I loved being back with family and friends. I ate so much food that I could not get in Oregon. However, I also missed my family of attorneys and judges in Oregon. While I feel fortunate I was able to do a “last hoorah” in my hometown, I am ready to embark on my personal journey in Portland, Oregon and grow into a successful attorney.
*I apologize for no pictures.