Luckily for me, my law school offers an “intensive practicum” available outside of Chicago, which allows students to extern full-time and earn 12 credits instead of taking the standard 4 or 5 classes for a semester. I spent my final semester (Spring 2017) in law school as an extern at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boise, and had an amazing experience.
For those students from larger markets considering this office for a semester or summer, you can feel confident in the attorneys, the work, and the experience. First of all, the attorneys here are top notch. Some have worked in large markets. Most have years of experience trying cases. All are genuine, decent (and funny!) people, which makes quite a difference in the overall experience.
District of Idaho externs can expect excellent opportunities in terms of work. It’s mostly a “choose your own adventure” book. You can generally focus on those cases or assignments which interest you most, since there is plenty of work to go around. My experience during the spring semester, where I was one of three externs, might differ somewhat from the summer extern experience, when there are generally more externs. Still, the opportunities abound at this office to be involved in excellent work.
If you want to get into court, spend a semester here—you will not be disappointed. Externs have seemingly constant opportunities to meaningfully participate in hearings and trials. If you are eligible for an Idaho limited practice license (two-thirds complete with law school), you will have ample opportunity to speak in court. I argued a change of plea hearing during the second week of my externship, and frequent opportunities followed. If you are not eligible (or do not have a desire to speak in court), you can observe and learn.
I will quickly mention the city of Boise as well. If you haven’t been, it’s a great city. The outdoor activities, restaurants, and weather are outstanding. You’ll enjoy it whether you’re in school in a large or small city.
This was my favorite semester in law school, hands down. The overall experience in the Boise office was phenomenal, and will definitely make me a stronger attorney going forward. I can’t thank the attorneys and staff enough for an amazing conclusion to my law school journey.
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, Class of 2017