Experience matters at Elon Law
Part seven of Elon Law’s student summer employment series spotlights the insights and experiences of those working in military law, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, criminal law, family law, immigration law and intellectual property law.
Michael Carpenter, Elon Law Class of 2016, worked as a legal intern for the general practice firm of Dunlow & Wilkinson, PA in Oxford, N.C.
"I have gained real practice experience that just simply cannot be reproduced in the classroom," Carpenter said. "There is no class that teaches you how to deal with clients and the skills to work with them can only be gained by real world experience. Office management is another skill that can only be learned in a real world setting."
Carpenter handled various matters from simple contract disputes, property law, personal injury, family law, wills and trust, and criminal law. He began the summer by helping with a murder trial, assisting in preparation work, forming arguments and working on opening and closing statements. He helped draft and write a brief to the N.C. Court of Appeals involving a custody dispute.
At Elon Law, Carpenter is a member of the Elder Law Society, Council for Christ, Criminal Law Society and the Intellectual Property Club.
"Elon has taught me the skills that I need to be ready to practice law ... and helped me to be able to listen to a client, assess what the issue is and determine what sort of solution is needed to help resolve the issue," Carpenter said.
Adam Roberts, Elon Law Class of 2017, was a summer legal intern for a joint internship with Yanez Immigration Law and Justice Law Group in Greensboro, North Carolina.
"Through this joint internship at two law firms I have gained a tremendous amount of practical experience as well as knowledge of numerous areas of law, which will help me to be a well-rounded attorney in the future,” Roberts said. “It offered an amazing opportunity to learn what it's like to practice law in the real world. This internship introduced me to many different areas of law in a short period of time, which provided a lot more insight to the legal world than just focusing on one area of law for the whole summer."
While working at Yanez Immigration Law, Roberts worked on asylum cases, U Visa applications, and Special Immigration Juvenile Petitions. Justice Law Group is a general practice firm that focuses on real estate and immigration. While interning there, Roberts worked on a variety of immigration cases including Unlawful Presence waivers and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. He drafted a complaint for a domestic violence protection order as well as a reply to a motion for relief from a judgment filed by opposing counsel. Justice Law Group has a commitment to pro bono work with Legal Aid of North Carolina, so Roberts was able to assist with other issues like drafting wills and powers of attorney, petitioning for expungements, conducting research, and developing trial strategies for rent abatement actions in small claims court.
Tara Scanlon, Elon Law Class of 2017, interned this summer at the North Carolina National Guard Judge Advocate General, Joint Force Headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina.
"This experience was eye opening to the variety of tasks and types of law an attorney can be faced with in just a day's time," Scanlon said.
"My passion for the military and hopes of becoming an Army JAG were heightened after studying and working with a new code of justice through this internship," Scanlon continued.
The office of the Staff Judge Advocate works on a variety of cases and areas of law governed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Scanlon was able to work on two criminal cases, multiple property disputes, divorce hearings, drafting and witnessing wills, and research. Scanlon is serving currently in the Army National Guard.
Jordan Stomean, Elon Law Class of 2016, was a summer legal intern at the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Butner, North Carolina.
"The experiences and opportunities that were afforded to me through my internship at FCC Butner provided immeasurable benefits for both my legal education and future career," Stomean said. "As a result of the legal staff's efforts to teach me the small details and beginning stages of a case when it first arrives, I feel more prepared to hit the ground running in any position after law school. By allowing me the chance to participate in mock testimony, I gained crucial experience in litigation skills."
While interning, Stomean was able to draft the legal argument section with an attorney for an appellate brief for the Fourth Circuit. She worked on an entire brief for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on a sentence computation and prior custody credit issue. One of the biggest projects she worked on involved a case that centered around Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment violations and violations under the Americans with Disabilities and Rehabilitations Acts. She worked with defendants in gaining representation, conducted legal research and drafted a motion for the court. While preparing for the trial, Stomean conducted direct and cross-examination on Ph.D. interns on forensic evaluations in a mock trial testimony setting.
"Due to my experience writing legal memos and briefs at Elon, both in classes and Moot Court, I was able to meet and exceed their expectations," Stomean said. "Elon has been a fostering community of supportive professors urging students to ask questions, regardless of what they are, and providing supportive responses to those who reach out for help."
Caitlin Truelove, Elon Law Class of 2017, interned at the high technology patent practice of Withrow & Terranova, PLLC in Cary, North Carolina.
"This experience has helped me in my legal education by showing me what is actually necessary to the job that I want," Truelove said.
While interning at Withrow & Terranova, PLLC, Truelove worked in intellectual property law. She proofread issued patents, assisted with forms relating to Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications and assisted in a variety of other intellectual property law matters.