The Leadership Program

Leadership Fellows Summer Experiences

Summer Experience Profiles
Ashley Clark
L. Collin Cooper
Janison Dillon
Shoshana Fried
Caroline Johnson
David Lambert
Chantelle Lytle
Kelsey Roth
Julie Stainback

Leadership Fellows have an opportunity to serve in a public sector organization through a summer externship offered with course credit and a scholarship covering the tuition for the externship course and living expenses.

The following is one in a series of self-reported descriptions of the fellows' summer employment experiences.

L. Collin Cooper '12

Name of Employer:                                   

Office of United States Senator Kay R. Hagan

Name of Position:                                   

Legal Intern

Elon Law student Collin CooperFirst Line Supervisor:                 

Brittany Wakefield
Assistant to the Chief of Staff             

General Overview:

As a legal intern in the office of a Federal Senator, I had a variety of different jobs and responsibilities.  First of all, there was naturally a great deal of menial/official tasks to be done—sorting and logging constituent letters for easy access to the Senator; answering the telephone; becoming acquainted with the U.S. Capital building, etc.  There was also a great deal of legal drafting, training and research required.

Daily Duties:

A typical day in the Senator’s office would consist of about 20% constituent services, 30% training, and 50% writing and research.  I would spend a majority of the morning reading constituent mail and entering it into the Senator’s electronic sorting system.  I would often spend my afternoons doing legal research training either with the Congressional Research Service, or legal librarians at the U.S. Senate Library.  This sort of training was helpful because I was exposed to research methods that I did not learn in my Legal Research class.  When there were no training sessions, I would spend a great deal of time reading, and sometimes drafting, legislation and bill recommendation letters addressed to other U.S. Senators.  In addition, I was also able to attend Senate Committee Hearings, such as the confirmation hearings of Justice Elena Kagan to the U. S. Supreme Court.  At these hearings, I was able to meet Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Justice Elena Kagan, Dr. Henry Kissinger, and other well-known Senators and politicians.

Take Aways:

Of all the perks that I experienced working for a U.S. Senator, the most memorable was having free reign to wander around the U.S. Capital building and sit on the Senate and House floors while they were in session.  While I had to actively seek out a majority of the legal work that I did, it was a very rewarding experience.