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.
Fernando joined us from the University of Miami School of Law, where he is expected to graduate in 2021. His previous experience includes an internship at a regional law firm in Miami and a Judicial Internship with the Honorable John O’Sullivan in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Here is what Fernando had to say about his clerkship at Shutts.
What advice would you give to someone looking for a summer clerkship and succeed in it?
Be yourself and work hard. Primarily, my advice would be to focus solely on your academics during your first year of law school. After that, start looking for opportunities to build your resume as early as possible. When applying, do your research and utilize all the resources available to you for the application process. Once you get to interviews, do not be afraid to show your personality, ask questions, and make sure you look for a place where you will feel happy, which is the most important. Once you choose a place and start working, continue being yourself and work hard. Keep an open mind, be willing to learn, and get to know people at your firm.
What were the three most memorable experiences throughout your time here?
It’s hard to narrow to only three, however if I had to choose, I would say (1) attending a week-long jury trial involving complex multi-jurisdictional issues and witnessing the judge rule favorably on various motions that I conducted research in preparation for; (2) getting to know my co-winter clerk and working together on various cases; (3) ending the clerkship with a personalized wine tasting event and having a great dinner with some of the people I worked with throughout the clerkship.
What knowledge and/or skills will you be taking with you after completing the program?
After this program, I can confidently say that I have significantly improved my research and writing skills. I had the opportunity to research a variety of legal issues across different jurisdictions and draft several memoranda and motions.
What are your plans after the conclusion of the program?
When the program ends, I will focus on completing my last semester of law school and prepare to take the Florida Bar Exam. After that, I will take some time off and hope to travel and relax.
About Shutts & Bowen LLP
Established in 1910, Shutts & Bowen is a full-service business law firm with approximately 300 lawyers with offices in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Sarasota, Tallahassee, Tampa and West Palm Beach. Learn more about Shutts & Bowen at www.shutts.com.