16 students from 13 different high schools came together to participate in our summer internship designed to expose young adults to a potential career in law. The internship was an intense one-week program in which students were offered an overview of how law firms function, the different types of litigation, and what it’s like to be a lawyer.
During the program, students met at our firm’s main office in Orinda, where they received lectures from each of the partners on various aspects of the legal profession, sat in on a mediation, and observed and discussed trial footage. The students also talked with a former GJEL employee who had recently applied to law school. In this session, students were able to learn more about the law school admissions process and ask questions about what sort of undergrad programs would best position them for a future career in law.
This was our first year running an internship program for local high school students, and the feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive. One student described the experience as, “much more helpful than any law or mock trial class in understanding the life and mindset of a lawyer.”
By walking through actual cases and observing a mediation, the students were able to gain a deeper insight into the daily life of an attorney and eliminate some of the common misconceptions about what being a lawyer is really like. As another student wrote, “Listening to all the speakers talk about what their role was in the firm showed me that there is more to law than the trial.”
Managing partner Andy Gillin said, “This was an amazing group of kids and we were absolutely thrilled to spend a week teaching them about the legal process. Seeing this many high school students showing so much passion for the law gives me a great deal of optimism for the future of our profession.”
Thanks to the incredible success of this year’s event, the internship will definitely become a recurring summer program for our firm. Preliminary planning for next year’s summer internship program is already in the works, and it is our sincere hope that we can continue to partner with local high schools to provide students a deeper, real-world understanding of whether being a lawyer is the right career for them.