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Alex Pyle University of California, Berkley

Like everyone, I had a fine time in this program. In an attempt to say something new, however, I’ll limit my comments to two factors that distinguished my experience from the experience of most other externs.

First, I entered the summer having just completed my 1L year. Thus, I was ineligible to attain a limited license to practice. No matter: I was kept busy writing and researching, working on cases both headed toward indictments and scheduled for hearings. And I was allowed to sit at the bar and observe as much court as I liked—if not actually represent the government in the proceedings. The point being, the experience was worthwhile even without the opportunity to practice in court.

The second distinguishing factor: I was stationed in Pocatello instead of Boise. Work in a small branch office has its own character. True, I worked with only three AUSAs. But all of them were outright impressive lawyers. And all of them handled a large amount and variety of cases. So I was exposed to a breadth of issues. Further, I was able to interact with these attorneys in a way that would perhaps be impossible in a larger office. Whenever questions arose, their doors were open and a few steps away.

Ultimately, this program gave me what I wanted from my summer. I’ll be a better attorney because of it.