Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Brian Wortham, who completed a summer clerkship with our firm this week. Brian is a second-year student at St. Mary’s University School of Law.
After surviving my first year of law school, I was set to begin the time-honored tradition of finding a summer clerkship. I received an opportunity to interview with Smith Law Group, an appellate firm in Austin. During the interview with Todd Smith, Managing Partner, and Maitreya Tomlinson, Partner, we discussed how they had never had a clerk before, so this would be a first for everyone. Todd called me a week later with the good news that they would like me to serve as their “guinea pig.” I was excited, yet also felt the pressure to succeed so they would feel comfortable to hire a second clerk next summer.
On my second day, Todd gave me an assignment to draft, a “No Evidence Summary Judgment.” After asking what that was, I began to research the motion. I believe in the “sink or swim” motto, and it felt good to be working on something real rather than a theoretical class exercise. It felt good, until I looked at the revised product. I could recognize a few of my words, but for the most part, Todd had re-written the motion. Needless to say, I felt like I had sunk. One thing Todd said all summer is “I need to remember what I knew after my first year of law school.” Looking at it that way helped when comparing my limited experience with his twenty years as a lawyer. While I have so much more to learn, I noticed more of my own words being kept in motions as the summer progressed.