Opportunities and Challenges | # 1

As my second week comes to a close, I’m starting to feel completely at home in Chicago. I absolutely love the internship, the people, and the city. Interning at Mandell Menkes LLC has exceeded my expectations, as I’ve been able to observe a number of hearings, in federal and state court, as well as listen in on phone conferences and attend lectures by legal professionals .

While my greatest challenges have been acclimating to a full work schedule, living on my own, and learning to navigate public transportation, I feel that the opportunities I’ve been provided with have been invaluable. My responsibilities largely consist of reviewing and summarizing legal documents; however, the office has been extremely generous, friendly, and helpful in including me in relevant cases and filling me in on the necessary background information.

Just last week, I was able to attend a panel by the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law. The panel was primarily concerned with balancing passion and opportunity, creating a brand, and being a woman in the legal field. The goal of the Coalition is to provide positive avenues of communication to enhance recruitment, retention and the promotion of women lawyers, and to support the relevancy of women’s initiatives in law firms and companies. As an aspiring lawyer, I was impressed and excited by the opportunity to hear from successful female lawyers, and inspired that coalitions exist to further promote women in the legal field.

Additionally, being able to observe the differences between state and federal court has been fascinating. Last summer, I had the pleasure of externing for a federal judge in downtown Los Angeles, and solely observed hearings in federal court. Observing state court has been interesting, as there appears to be important distinctions in formality.

Ultimately, I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience thus far and am looking forward to the weeks to come, as I hope to become increasingly more familiar with the city and confident in my internship position.

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