This summer I had the opportunity to work as a summer associate at Lathrop & Gage in Kansas City. I was very excited about the internship, as it was my first experience working in a firm. While there, I had the chance to work on a variety of projects that spanned topics from bankruptcy to food law to recreational easements. The experience was fantastic, and solidified my desire to work in a firm in Kansas City.
When I began the summer at Lathrop, I thought I wanted to work in litigation, but did not know what type of litigation work I wanted to do. I also recognized, however, that I had never done any transactional legal work, and hoped that I would be able to get some exposure to a few business oriented projects. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work in both of these areas. In order to assign summer associates projects, the work coordinators at Lathrop held weekly meetings in which they let us know what projects they had received from attorneys, and allowed us to request the projects we wanted to complete. I really liked this system, as it allowed me to work on the projects I knew I was interested in, and also branch out with some other assignments that I knew little (or nothing!) about. By the end of the summer, I was able to confirm that I want to work in litigation, specifically business or tort litigation. As I begin classes this year, it is comforting to know that I am taking classes focused on the areas in which I hope to work.
In addition to research projects, I had the opportunity to attend a number of hearings and observe other more active types of practice. One of my favorite experiences was observing a mock voir dire held by an attorney who had never before interviewed potential jurors. As I had not been exposed to that portion of trial preparation before this summer, I found it very interesting to listen to both the attorney and the jury consultant.
I had a wonderful summer working at Lathrop & Gage, made even better by the individuals with whom I had the opportunity to work. I encourage anyone looking to work in a firm to explore as many types of law as possible during your internships, and to take the time to get to know the attorneys and staff with whom you are working.