I am no longer an unemployed law student who's stuck in summer limbo. Instead, I am now Jack Fan, summer law clerk at the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas. Although my official title is probably just "Intern to Justice Joseph B. Morris" -- at least that's what it says on my door. THAT'S RIGHT ... I get an office. Nothing gave me more goosebumps during the office tour than when the senior staff attorney announced our office cubicles.
The nature of my work requires strict confidentiality. In fact, disclosing the inclinations of the justices prior to the court's publishing of its opinions is a felony. I am refraining from the substance of cases that I am involved with, but read on this summer about the trials and tribulations of life as a summer law clerk at the 5th Court of Appeals.
The 5th Court of Appeals sponsors two classes of interns this summer. My class consists of 9 law students: one from the University of Oklahoma College of Law, five from SMU Dedman School of Law, one from one from the University of Texas School of Law, and two Texas Wesleyan University School of Law. My good friend Eric Yepez is also along for the ride. Walking into the conference room this morning was like walking onto the set of Donald Trump's The Apprentice. A group of hot, young talents eager to soak their teeth into the judicial system. Lisa, a rising 2L from SMU, was asked by her judge to write a memo on her very first day. As she recounts, "at first I was just supposed to suggest some questions that he [the judge] could ask during tomorrow's oral arguements. But right before lunch, he told me to give him a memo by 5:00. And if I couldn't finish by 5:00, then to put the memo on his desk. In other words, he told me to stay my first day until I finished." I, on the other hand, had the cumbersome task of introducing the summer clerks to my judge after 30 minutes of meeting my fellow colleagues, which I accomplished almostly flawlessly.
Since my summer clerkship is unpaid, I moonlight as a sous chef for a local caterer in the evenings.