Elon Law students at work
Military law, judicial clerkship, commercial real estate and criminal law are featured in part five of a weekly series spotlighting the insights and work experiences of Elon Law students.
Tyler Cloud, Class of 2017, was a law clerk for Judge Brett L. Geisler, the presiding judge of the 27th Judicial Circuit of Virginia in Hillsville, Virginia.
"The experience was very valuable and gave me great insight on how judges handle cases," Cloud said. "It was also a great experience being able to write and edit opinions and improve my legal writing skills."
During his clerkship, Cloud worked on three major cases. For each case, he researched case law and read briefs that were submitted by attorneys and then reported back to Judge Geisler. After the hearings were completed, he drafted and edited the opinions for the judge.
At Elon Law, Cloud is a member of the Elon Law Review editorial board.
Elizabeth Coltrane, Class of 2016, worked this summer at the U.S. Coast Guard Legal Command Services in Norfolk, Va.
Coltrane worked on matters involving military justice, as well as personal injury and property damage claims. She participated in an administrative separation hearing from start to finish and worked on interviews, discovery and hearing preparation.
“This experience was very valuable.” Coltrane said. “It allowed me to learn and use military law. It also allowed me to learn interviewing skills and trial preparation skills. I also worked in military justice, which allowed me to help protect the rights of both military and non military-victims and alleged perpetrators.“
Coltrane is the membership editor for the Elon Law Review, a member of the Moot Court Board and the treasurer for OutLaw.
“Moot court, law review and my legal research and writing classes really helped me succeed with this internship,” Coltrane said.
Anne Evangelista, Class of 2016, served this summer as legal intern at Durham County's District Attorney's office in North Carolina working in Traffic Court, District Court and Domestic Violence Court.
In Traffic Court, Evangelista helped with DWI cases, worked in the traffic kiosk negotiating with unrepresented defendants to resolve their tickets, prepared notes on police videos of several incidents, and helped prepare a misdemeanor death trial. In District Court, Evangelista won an Assault on a Female case, assisted with a sexual battery trial and day-to-day operations in court. In Domestic Violence court, she helped prepare misdemeanor appeals legal argument and won a Communicating Threats trial.
"This experience has been fantastic," Evangelista said. "I've seen how all different types of lawyers operate and learned how to most effectively communicate with defense attorneys, victims and unrepresented defendants. The trial experience was irreplaceable and made me realize where my strengths and weaknesses are. I've also been able to see what attorneys do outside the courtroom and how the work out of the courtroom can often be most important.”
At Elon Law, Evangelista is president of the Law School Democrats, president of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society and secretary of the Women's Law Association. She is also an Honor Council Solicitor, Student Mentor Vice-Chair and member of the Moot Court Board.
"I've been complemented many times on ... my ability to make a legal argument in the courtroom, and my knowledge of elements of crimes that we either try or plea which I know has been a result of my appellate, trial advocacy and criminal law training from my courses at Elon," Evangelista said.
Jen Podelco, Class of 2017, was a legal intern this summer at The Carroll Companies in Greensboro, N.C., working primarily with the General Counsel/Vice President of Finance.
“My time at The Carroll Companies was extremely valuable,” Podelco said. “I gained hands-on experience in all aspects of the real estate development process, and had a firsthand look at what life is like for an in-house corporate counsel. It was extremely rewarding to participate in The Carroll Companies efforts to expand and transform the downtown Greensboro area.”
At Elon Law, Podelco is a Business Fellow, Dean’s Fellow, president of the Business Law Association and editorial board member of the Elon Law Review. She is also involved with Phi Alpha Delta and the AARP Tax Aide Clinic at Elon Law.
At The Carroll Companies, Podelco was involved with every step of the real estate development process, from drafting purchase agreements for the land acquisition team through landlord-tenant issues within the completed multifamily developments. She also assisted in drafting and filing of various documents for entity formation, loans, and other corporate finance documents. She conducted extensive legal research for specific landlord-tenant issues, property taxes and exemptions, and lien laws in the various states in which The Carroll Companies operate. Additionally, she have played a role in various litigation, working with attorneys outside of the company to gather and analyze information relevant to each case.
“The Contracts and Property classes that I took during my 1L year have been put to excellent use throughout my internship,” Podelco said.
Christopher Stella, Class of 2017, worked this summer in the Orleans Public Defenders (OPD) office in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The office represents indigent clients charged with felony criminal offenses.
“The OPD office has a client-centered focus, ranging from lessening client bail and securing client release, assuring that clients have their physical and mental health taken care of by the jails in which they are detained, and handling writs and appeals to state appellate courts,” Stella said.
At Elon Law, Stella is president of the Elon Law chapter of the National Lawyer's Guild.
“Without Elon Law faculty and staff, placement into summer employment would have been worlds more difficult to attain,” Stella said.