This summer, I externed for Senior United States District Judge E. Richard Webber. During my time, I learned about the federal courts – how they work; how different judges maintain order; how attorneys interact with one another; and how court motions are made and ruled on.
I also observed the inter-workings of a chamber. I learned how the judge, judicial assistant, and law clerks collaborate and how each depends on the other for success. During my time, I grew especially close to Judge Webber’s law clerk, Laura. She taught me a lot about the responsibilities of a law clerk. Her office was always filled with stacks of paper (motions to rule on; orders to send out; opinions to draft; etc.) but the worked seemed invigorating and the research (in my opinion) was stimulating.
I was given a number of assignments during my time at Chambers. I researched several different points of law for several different court orders and I reviewed citations to ensure court accuracy. I also had one extended assignment, which involved ruling on a § 2255 motion. That was an especially taxing and time consuming project since the motion itself was over thirty pages in length. However, on my last day, Judge Webber reviewed my order and two days later, the order was published.
During my externship, I was encouraged to observe court proceedings. Throughout my observations, I noticed how differently the various judges handled their courtrooms. Some of the judges were very informal (almost casual) in how they held their court. While other judges, like Judge Webber, were structured and serious.
I am thankful for this summer externship for several reasons. Judge Webber is an incredible judge and an amazing mentor. I am so grateful to have learned from him and to have grown under his guidance. I also appreciate the various court proceedings I observed. From these proceedings, I saw how lessons I learned in the classroom are applied in real life.