Leadership Fellows Summer Experiences
|Summer Experience Profiles|
|L. Collin Cooper|
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:
First Line Supervisor:
Assistant to the Chief of Staff
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.
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.
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.