My externship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office was both challenging and rewarding. I was impressed by everyone’s sincere interest in ensuring that I had a valuable experience. Coming into the externship, I wanted to be exposed to a variety of practice areas. Per my request, I was provided opportunities to work in a range of areas including civil procedure, trusts, real property, asset forfeiture, criminal law, immigration law, water law, and environmental law. As a result, I also worked with several different attorneys and was able to observe distinct approaches to practicing law. The attorneys I worked with were very knowledgeable and did high-caliber work. They were well-respected by both their colleagues and the judiciary, and many of them had built local and national reputations within their particular areas.
The atmosphere at the office was very collegial. Everyone was helpful and encouraging and I never felt hesitant to ask questions or seek direction on a project. The attorneys made a conscience effort to make me part of the “case team,” inviting me to participate in various aspects of the cases on which I was working. While I did get plenty of chances to develop my researching and writing abilities, I was also included in client meetings, settlement negotiations, and court appearances. In fact, with my limited license I was able to appear in court before all four federal judges for arraignments, sentencing hearings, and a preliminary injunction hearing. Few, if any, of my classmates had those kinds of opportunities.
I always looked forward to the brownbag presentations that were held each week during lunch. Experienced and knowledgeable Assistant U.S. Attorneys instructed us on different areas of the law (e.g., drug prosecutions, federal debt collection, statutory protection of archeological sites, asset forfeiture, and natural resource law) and provided concrete examples from cases they had prosecuted. It was a great chance for us to ask questions and interact with the attorneys on a more informal basis. I also enjoyed interacting and comparing experiences with law students from other areas of the country.
Apart from my experience in the office, I would recommend an externship at the U.S. Attorney’s Office because of the great lifestyle Boise affords. My wife and I took full advantage of the city’s vibrant downtown, beautiful parks, and recreational opportunities.
My externship experience this summer both allowed me to apply things I had learned in law school and provided me a positive base upon which I can build a rewarding legal career. For all these reasons, I highly recommend an externship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.