I highly recommend an externship at the United States Attorney’s Office in Boise. The amount of experience I gained was exceptional and, as a result, I truly believe the externship was more beneficial for me than a paid position. The attorneys and agents in the office were very helpful and encouraged externs to get involved in their cases. Throughout the summer, everyone put aside a lot of time to educate externs. It was very apparent that the office takes pride in its role in educating law students and helping them form productive, rewarding legal careers.
As an extern, my program centered upon Natural Resource Law. My supervising attorney was very knowledgeable in environmental law and I learned a lot from him. The program gave me exposure to a great deal of environmental issues. I worked on criminal and civil cases under statutes such as the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act, Toxic Substance Control Act, and Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Additionally, I branched out and put time into non-environmental cases. My non-environmental work was rewarding and helped me to get a broader picture of federal legal practice. I worked on everything from drug cases to sex offender cases.
Through all these different projects, I observed and gained firsthand knowledge of many aspects of litigation. The externship provided great writing and research experience and, at the same time, provided many opportunities to observe and participate in court work. I gained experience writing many legal documents and was able to get input from experienced legal writers. I also observed meetings with opposing council, court proceedings, trials, witness preparation, and work with federal agents. All this work built my legal knowledge far beyond what I learned in law school classes.
Moreover, throughout the summer I was able to attend many rewarding trainings. The office put on weekly one hour classes where attorneys would take time out of their busy schedules and give an overview of an area of law or a particularly interesting case. An attorney who was an accomplished legal writer took the time to give us weekly writing workshops that were very beneficial. Additionally, I attended other trainings that involved everything from gangs to the sentencing guidelines.
All in all, the summer I spent at the United State Attorney’s Office was truly an exceptional legal experience. The whole office undoubtedly cares a great deal about its externship program and puts a tremendous amount of effort and time into the program. I cannot imagine a better externship. The externship deserves its reputation as one of the best externships in Idaho.