The summer after the first year of law school is an opportunity to begin putting theory into practice. Three students did just that at the chief staff attorney’s office for the Supreme Court of Virginia.
For Etahjayne Harris, Katie Love, and Kathleen Pulver, working at the Supreme Court provided access to cases experienced by very few lawyers.
“The Supreme Court receives some of the most unique legal issues, as they are at the highest level of appeal,” Pulver said. “Many cases addressed situations that most people will never encounter, or only encounter once, as a lawyer.”
Pulver said her days in the chief staff attorney’s office were often spent reviewing the records of cases on appeal — including transcripts and opinions from the trial court and court of appeals — and writing a memo about the case. These memos were used by the Supreme Court to determine which cases to review and to see if the case filings complied with court rules. The interns sometimes included their own recommendations on whether appeals should be granted and provided independent legal analysis.
In addition to the look inside a distinctive work environment, the interns worked on a wide range of cases, such as “criminal appeals involving malicious wounding, grand larceny, and embezzlement charges,” Harris said.
That variety adds up to a pretty impressive summer experience.