January 24, 2014
Public Service Career Fair
I could not have predicted the value, importance, and rewarding
nature of the work I perform as a Justice attorney. The high caliber
of hardworking people with whom I work was unforeseen and is unmatched.
I arrived at the Department of Justice by attaining a one-year judicial clerkship at the Office of Administrative Law Judges, Drug Enforcement Administration, through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. I sought to gain the unique litigation perspective only afforded to members of an independent judicial tribunal, and to be a vital component of the decision-making process, before trying cases myself.
As a Judicial Law Clerk for an Administrative Law Judge, I routinely draft orders and recommend agency decisions, and research statutory and case law, relative to due process hearings entitled to DEA registrants under the Controlled Substances Act. What I quickly found was that drafting orders and opinions on behalf of an impartial decision-maker is a rare and welcomed luxury in one’s career inasmuch as it permits a measure of academic freedom. It requires careful legal analysis, yet liberates me from the constraints of adversarial persuasion insofar as truth, fairness, and just disposition are the driving endeavors. I can proudly say that I am experiencing something shared by only a subset of the legal community but that will have a profound impression upon me certain to last my entire legal career.
I could have not have predicted the value, importance, and rewarding nature of the work I perform as a Justice attorney. The high caliber of hardworking people with whom I work was unforeseen and is unmatched. In particular, the Judge for whom I work time and again proves to be the most warm and helpful supervisor, collaborator, and mentor. The everyday and continual discussions we engage in over trial tactics, litigation styles, evidence, and substantive legal analysis through writing and oral argument is more of an education both in theory and practice than I have ever experienced. Moreover, his professional guidance, advice, and critical insight are borne of an earnest desire to aid me as I establish my career. As I anticipate prosecuting as a trial attorney immediately following my clerkship, mentorship by a former career prosecutor could not be a better fit. He is a selfless breed rarely found outside public service, and I am so fortunate to have been paired with him by the Honors Program.