Our 2021 Winter Clerkship Program brought six law students for an intellectually challenging and professionally gratifying experience. The program normally takes places during the summer, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearing the end of the program, the students agreed to share a few highlights from their experience at Shutts.
Devon joined us from the Florida International University College of Law, where she is President of the Employment & Labor Law Society, a member of the Moot Court, a member of the Negotiation & Mediation Team and Articles Editor of the FIU Law Review. She is expected to graduate in 2021.
Here is what Devon had to say about her clerkship at Shutts.
How did you decide to pursue this position?
I applied to Shutts for a summer associate position through my school on-campus interview process in the Fall of 2019. I initially applied through resume-collect, where Shutts collects your resume and potentially invites you for an initial interview. During my first interview with Shutts, I knew it was my first choice for a summer position. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, our clerkship was rescheduled for January 2021. In the meantime, I pursued the position by remaining engaged, flexible, and ensuring Shutts knew I was committed to a clerkship experience with Shutts.
What did you do before coming to Shutts?
Before coming to Shutts, I studied at University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida and worked in a restaurant through college. While attending Florida International University College of Law, I interned for Judge Ivan F. Fernandez of the Florida Third District Court of Appeal, Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I also was a teaching assistant for a first-year appellate legal writing class and a research assistant to a professor who writes employment discrimination jurisprudence.
What advice would you give to someone looking for a summer clerkship and succeed in it?
Be yourself, work hard, and be eager to learn. First, being yourself is essential for the firm to see how you will mesh into the firm’s culture long-term and to make lasting connections during your clerkship. Second, in many ways your clerkship operates as a ten-week interview. You can learn the law, but you can’t learn to work hard. You want to demonstrate you have strong work ethic that will last beyond your clerkship. Third, be eager to learn from your mistakes. You will make mistakes, but what defines your mistake is how you appreciate the feedback you’re given and implement changes so that you do not make the same mistake twice.
What were your expectations and have they been met (or exceeded)?
My expectation was to learn as much as I could and gain experience in as many practice areas as possible. My expectations were absolutely exceeded. I learned from every assignment and every partner and associate I worked with, especially because I received in-depth, substantive feedback on most of my work. Moreover, from the experiences I had in different practices areas, I found that I (surprisingly but happily) really enjoy transactional work! From start to finish of my clerkship, I felt that my work was valued and that I truly enjoyed the work I was doing.
About Shutts & Bowen LLP
Shutts & Bowen, established in 1910, is a full-service business law firm with approximately 300 lawyers in offices in Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Sarasota, Tallahassee, Tampa, and West Palm Beach. Learn more about Shutts & Bowen at www.shutts.com.