Carving a path to corporate law via the IRS
Andreas Mosby in the Class of December 2017 is the latest to be featured in a series of profiles on Elon Law students whose summer internships offer them new insights and knowledge into the legal profession.
Maybe you want to work for the government after graduating from law school. Maybe you don’t. So why is a summer internship with the IRS, Office of Chief Counsel, a valuable experience no matter which path you take?
As Andreas Mosby is quick to point out, knowing how government attorneys approach their roles is important knowledge should you ever need to litigate against the government on behalf of a client.
The native of Sanford, North Carolina, is spending part of his summer working for the IRS while taking additional courses at Elon Law en route to a law degree and his MBA. Mosby, a member of the Moot Court Board and the Elon Law Review, likewise begins work in the fall as a judicial intern for the Hon. Judge Lucy Inman of the North Carolina Court of Appeals
The Leadership Fellow hopes to eventually work in corporate law for either a private firm or, potentially, as in-house counsel for a corporation.
Mosby is the latest to be featured in a series of summer employment profiles that showcase experiential learning opportunities for Elon Law students. The following conversation has been lightly edited.
What inspired you to pursue a legal education and a career in law?
I’ve always desired to be a part of something bigger than myself. That means not only being a voice of reason for myself, but for others. As a minority entering a profession where we are largely underrepresented, the way our laws affect citizens is important. I guess you can say I feel called upon to be a social engineer.
Tell me about the type of legal assignments you’re completing this summer with the IRS.
Pre-trial litigation preparation has been the crux of my work. I’ve completed a 63-page pre-trial memorandum that touched upon a case of first impression. Among other things, I’ve also drafted stipulation of facts, Branerton letters, answers to petitions, and extensive legal research projects.
What led you to this opportunity and how does it complement your interest in the law?
Interning for the IRS Office of Chief Counsel was appealing to me because it aligns with my ultimate goal of either working in-house for a corporation, or practicing corporate law for a firm. Corporate law encompasses a variety of areas, including tax law, which impacts entities and individuals.
How did your previous residency-in-practice last year with the National Labor Relations Board prepare you for this summer work?
Since my residency was also in a government agency, coming into my summer internship with the IRS, Office of Chief Counsel, I knew I could hit the ground running. I was already familiar with the type of workload I would receive, in addition to how government legal departments function.
What are you learning about yourself as a result of this experience that wouldn’t have been possible in a classroom?
From an educational and academic standpoint, Elon Law heavily promotes the concept of the “lawyer leader.” This concept, for me, is supplemented by practical experience gained at the IRS, which could not have been supported within a classroom. I go home each night knowing that I put forth my best effort, in my own small way, to set the nation on course for an economically prosperous future by paying off America’s debts, or by making taxpayers whole whenever the law provides such a justification.
Is this opportunity altering your future career plans? If so, how?
It’s certainly helped me to see the greater good that can come from zealous representation. While the attorneys at the IRS ultimately serve at the expense of the Service, they approach each case with the mindset of finding the “right” result, as opposed to the “most favorable” result or outcome for the Service. To me, this is what advocacy done right looks like, and it continues to fuel my drive to become a legal practitioner within my community.
What should other students know about interning for the government?
Interning for a government office during law school creates value regardless of whether you hope to practice law through an agency. For example, if you wish to work for a law firm, you will likely represent clients that are suing the government. Having government experience beforehand provides you with an “inside-looking-out” perspective that will allow you to see what attorneys have constantly done well – or not-so-well - when representing clients against the government.
In essence, these litigation advantages would be valuable to any law firm, as you will know exactly how that particular government agency works.
Visit the Office of Career & Student Development for more information on summer and full-time career opportunities.
Previous Summer Employment Profiles:
Aarin Miles (Class of December 2017)
Brittany Hart (Class of December 2017)
Gabe Mirabelli (Class of December 2017)
Janelle Wendorf (Class of December 2017)
Catherine Bryant (Class of 2018)
Maxwell Baker (Class of December 2017)