Elon Law students excel in summer internships
Members of Elon Law's Classes of 2014 and 2015 served in state and federal court systems, law firms, the offices of corporate counsel and in public interest positions this summer.
Elon Law students served in locations across North Carolina, the United States and internationally, including Asheville, Charlotte and Raleigh, NC, Woodbridge, NJ, Washington, DC, Monroe, LA, Decatur, GA and the United Kingdom.
The 2013 summer work experiences of thirty-one Elon Law students are featured here:
Chad Archer L’15 and Daniel Dziuban L’14 interned at Pisgah Legal Services in Asheville and Hendersonville, NC. Archer’s work dealt with housing and consumer law, specifically helping clients facing eviction, foreclosure or the possibility of court-ordered sale and seizure of real property for satisfaction of debts. Dziuban focused on housing issues, conducted home visits and represented several clients in court.
“There are many people out there who need help from a lawyer, but they often do not receive it,” said Dziuban. “My internship changed my views on how I can provide services to those who need it most when I practice law.”
John Boschini L’15 interned at the Guilford County District Attorney’s Office in Greensboro, NC.
Thomas Brown L’14 and Justin Grill L’14 interned for Judge Robert N. Hunter, Jr. at the North Carolina Court of Appeals in Raleigh, NC.
“While working for Judge Hunter Jr. I learned a lot about substantive law covered in my law school classes, about practicing in North Carolina, and especially about advocacy," Grill said. "Since the Court of Appeals hears appeals from the trial courts and administrative proceedings, I am able to learn from what practitioners around the state did or did not do properly. This has been a fantastic learning experience that is difficult or impossible to recreate in the classroom. I directly credit the Center for Professional Development with enabling me to obtain this position with Judge Hunter. Not only did the Center for Professional Development have the job posted on Symplicity, but they put me in contact with some of the judge's former clerks (who were Elon Law graduates) for some insight prior to the interview.”
Janean Bryant L’15 served as a summer associate at The Fresh Market Corporate Office in Greensboro, NC. Bryant’s work involved projects spanning the fields of commercial real estate, labor and employment law, contract law, alcohol licensing and trademark law. Among other things, she conducted research for trademark infringement claims, drafted language for sections of The Fresh Market’s commercial leases and drafted several Memoranda of Leases to be placed in public records offices.
“Being a summer associate for The Fresh Market Corporate Office was an invaluable experience for me," Bryant said. "I was able to apply what I learned in property and contract law within a corporate setting, as well as learn about other areas of law such as trademarking and labor and employment law. The internship provided me opportunities to analyze and negotiate contracts, and interpret landlord and tenant rights in commercial leases. Furthermore, the experience allowed me to gain exposure to corporate law, while building my professional network with attorneys in the Greensboro area.”
Hannah Davies L’14 interned for Tomblin, Farmer & Morris, PLLC in Rutherfordton, NC. Davies was involved in the preparation of briefs for judges, correspondence in estate cases, preparing and communicating settlement offers and assisting with the deposition of a doctor.
“It has been so rewarding and exciting for me to actually be able to reach out and touch lives every day through the legal profession, to make a difference for people who are struggling or in need of help. This practical experience has truly advanced my legal education,” said Davies.
Amber Donta L’14 interned for the General Counsel at Butterball, LLC in Garner, NC. Donta’s work involved analyzing and developing methods to maintain a contract and lease management database. Additionally, Donta worked to solve various legal-based issues with the Human Resource, Information Technology and Purchasing Departments at Butterball, LLC.
“The practical skills that Elon Law continues to instill in its students enabled me to adjust well to the corporate law environment," Donta said. "As part of my internship with the General Counsel’s office at Butterball, I was asked to deliver a presentation about my final product to a large group, including the CEO and many of the VP’s. I was grateful for the practice I gained while at Elon Law that prepared me to present to large groups of accomplished individuals and to discuss legal-based issues with those who are not involved in the legal field.”
Chris Genheimer L’15 served as an extern with the Triad-area Inception Micro Angel Fund (IMAF) and the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) in Winston-Salem, NC. Genheimer’s externship gave him exposure to business transactions, including the research and drafting of contracts for entity formation, licensing agreements, subscription agreements and securities regulation.
Mallory Horne L’14 and Elise Goodrich Karpinski L’14 interned with Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions. Horne’s work focused mainly on consumer contracts for Toshiba’s point-of-sale retail business, in addition to helping modify Toshiba’s IBM contracts to better reflect Toshiba’s new business model. Karpinski’s duties included creating a policy for use of open-source code within TGCS product and services, in addition to researching existing and changing data privacy regulations in Europe.
“Attending Elon Law gave me a definite advantage in my job,” said Horne. “In our Business Associations class with Professor Molony, he had us review and draft various business documents. This experience in class translated well into a real-life setting in that many documents I had to review were not completely unfamiliar to me. Without that experience in class, I would have had to spend much more time figuring out what each document was before I was able to really interpret the document.”
"The caliber of attorneys required for mergers and acquisitions contributed to the educational value of this experience, and gave me an appreciation for how a successful in-house team works together," Karpinski said. "Assisting these attorneys exposed me to the many functions of corporate counsel – from negotiating sales agreements, to streamlining international lease terms, to ensuring compliance with foreign employment law.”
Benjamin Kempton L’14 served as an intern at the Athletics Compliance Office at the University of Louisiana at Monroe in Monroe, LA. Kempton worked on several projects that included among others a presentation on the NCAA rules for financial aid with athletes, in addition to assembling summer financial aid packets for students and drafting eligibility reports, conference letters and National Letters of Intent (NLIs).
“Elon Law has been very helpful, especially The Center for Professional Development,” said Kempton. “Dean Smith helped me contact Hank Harrawood, my boss, who is also an alumnus of Elon Law. These types of connections from the Center for Professional Development gave me the opportunity to work this summer. In addition, it was Hank who was willing to help out a law school student. This goes to the character of Elon Law. Once someone graduates, they simply do not leave; they are willing to pass along knowledge they have in order to help others advance their own goals.”
Robin Kester L’15 served as an intern with Patterson & Sheridan LLP in Greensboro, NC.
Amanda Haege Kincaid L’14 interned with The Carroll Companies in Greensboro, NC.
Katherine Koone L’14 served as an extern for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in Greensboro, NC. Among other things, Koone’s duties included collecting and inputting National Letters of Intent, researching and providing resolution of NCAA and ACC interpretive issues and organizing all NCAA and ACC violations reported to the conference office and other required documentation.
Katherine Lester L’15 served as an extern for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in Woodbridge, NJ. Lester’s duties included a responsibility for assisting attorneys in preparing for and conducting investigational depositions, assisting counsel during disciplinary hearings and preparing internal memos proposing sanctions for violations of FINRA rules and relevant securities laws.
“The FINRA externship gave me an opportunity to work closely with enforcement attorneys on a variety of cases at many different stages, from researching facts relating to initial complaints all the way through to assisting counsel in depositions and hearings,” said Lester. “I have been able to see the whole process from the investigation to the decision to file a formal action, and what the enforcement division’s considerations are at each step of the way.”
Keshia McDonald L’14 clerked at the D.C. Superior Court in Washington, DC.
Madeline Obler-Grill L’14 served as a summer associate for Smith Debnam Narron Drake Saintsing & Myers, LLP in Raleigh, NC.
Bryan Peed L’14 served in Raleigh, NC as a legal intern/co-op at ViiV Healthcare, an independent company combining the HIV expertise of GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Shionogi. Peed’s primary responsibilities included legal research and writing, in addition to legal document drafting. Peed covered material ranging from compliance policy revising to legal review of product marketing materials.
“My Elon Law education has been very beneficial to my current success,” Peed said. “Most especially, I have developed strong legal research and writing skills that have helped me to excel as a legal intern/co-op at ViiV Healthcare.”
Michael Profit L’14 interned at the DeKalb County Solicitor-General’s Office in Decatur, GA. Profit was involved in the prosecution of misdemeanor offenses, including DUI, battery, trespass, theft crimes and obstruction of justice. Additionally, Profit conducted a motions hearing and a jury trial, for which he obtained a guilty verdict for the state.
“One of the greatest advantages I have derived from Elon Law comes from the availability of professors and the informal nature of meeting with them to discuss matters both related and unrelated to class," said Profit. "I credit the time I have spent with my professors outside of class as a main factor contributing to who I am today.”
Brenna Ragghianti L’14 and Rachel Spears L’14 interned with the United States Department of Justice at the US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina in Greensboro, NC. Their work involved a variety of legal research assignments, as well as observing and appearing in various federal court proceedings.
“This internship has been an opportunity for me to learn a wealth of information, not only about the way that the federal court system works, but also about trial practice and criminal procedure in general,” Spears said.
Andrew Realon L’14 served as a judicial extern for The Hon. James L. Gale at the North Carolina Business Court in Greensboro, NC.
“Working in the chambers of the Business Court provided me a great perspective on how the North Carolina legal system processes complex business matters," Realon said. "I learned the process by which a court makes decisions, which will help me in my future practice before a court. Elon Law professors have made a remarkable impact on my legal reasoning abilities. Through their guidance and teachings, I have been prepared to be comfortable asking questions, and to know which questions to ask. As an extern to Judge Gale, that is particularly helpful.”
Christian Robin L’14 served as an intern for New Breed Logistics in High Point, NC. Robin’s duties included drafting contracts, non-disclosure agreements, lease amendments and interoffice memoranda.
Kelsey Roth L’14 clerked for The Honorable Paul Martin Newby, Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court in Raleigh, NC.
“This experience has been very helpful, especially in terms of my legal writing skills and interpretation of the law," Roth said. "We read through opinions and brief and discern what the law is and how it should be apply. Legal writing at Elon Law has helped me to write effectively and efficiently. I would not be able to be as concise if I had not taken that class. Additionally, I probably would not have been able to work as a clerk for Justice Newby had it not been for the Leadership Fellows externship program.”
Emily Seawell L’15 interned for the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), Legal and Legislative Services Division in Raleigh, NC.
“My work over the summer consisted of projects designed to increase efficiency within the Judicial Branch, which the AOC supports,” Seawell said. “The first project resulted in a giant chart documenting all of the chapter- and article-level criminal offenses in the North Carolina General Statutes. When a bill is proposed, legislative staff will be able to use the chart to tell at a glance whether the bill would create a crime, which diverts the bill into a fiscal review process, or whether it will not create a crime, which allows for a faster, less expensive approval process. The second project resulted in a comprehensive guide to court costs in North Carolina dating to court reform in 1965. This guide will allow for a smoother experience for the citizen, the clerk, and the Judicial Branch employees who would have been tasked with looking back through a line of statutes to see how much the district court facilities fee was in 1983 ($5), for example, and who got the money (the county or municipality where the judgment was rendered). This summer was exactly what I was hoping for after my 1L year. I wanted to focus on developing professional-level legal research skills, and on learning the nuts and bolts of how the court system works in practice, from top to bottom.”
Wendeline Shea L’15 served as an intern at the North Carolina State Bar. Shea’s duties included reviewing grievance files, conducting research for Deputy Counsel, observing Deputy Counsel during trials and sitting in with Deputy Counsel during witness preparation for depositions.
Murphy Townsend L’14 served as an intern at the Alamance County District Attorney’s Office in Graham, NC. Townsend’s work focused on prosecuting and assisting in prosecuting defendants charged with misdemeanors.
"My experience at the Alamance County D.A.'s office was invaluable," Townsend said. "I learned how a court room runs through hands on experience and direct observation, from the calling of the docket, to negotiating with defense attorneys, to presenting matters before a judge, to trying cases. While I have enjoyed the classroom aspect of my legal education, the internship provided me with the experiential component of my legal education that brought my classroom experiences to life. The internship also provided me with the opportunity to advocate for victims of crimes and for the people of the State of North Carolina, and I was very honored to do so. The key to this great experience was working closely with the Center for Professional Development. They helped me assemble and edit my application materials and they hosted my interview with the Alamance County D.A.'s office. I extend my sincere thanks to the members of that office for their hard work and great connections.”
Merrill Ward L’14 interned for the United States Department of Justice at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex Consolidated Legal Center in Butner, NC. Ward’s duties included assisting with litigation in multiple claims, including drafting a motion to dismiss for a claim brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act, conducting legal research for multiple correctional-related issues, preparation of memoranda for attorneys within FCC-Butner and for the Regional Counsel of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Board of Prisons and assisting in the prosecution of a case in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Daniel Watts L’15 served as a summer clerk to Senior United States District Judge W. Earl Britt in Raleigh, NC. Watts’ primary duties included assisting Judge Britt and his team in adjudicating matters concerning complex civil litigation, federal proceedings and commitment hearings for individuals who qualify as sexually dangerous.
"Before I was afforded the privilege of working in chambers, I viewed justice as an abstract ideal," Watts said. "Justice is the natural outcome of a fair and balanced process that demands more of itself. Justice is far more than any one interest or participant, and its value resonates in the public’s trust of the judicial process. Working in such an environment and adding to the judicial precedent made justice far more real and tangible for me. Seeing our entire judicial process for what it is was informative, seeing it for what is not was humbling and seeing it for what it can be is inspiring.”
Greg Wheeler L'15 interned with the international law firm of Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP in the law firms London, United Kingdom office.