In the first in a series of profiles of Elon Law students completing their residencies-in-practice, Richard Glenn L’19 explains why full-time work over the winter at A.G. Linett & Associates in Greensboro motivates him even more to excel in his final year of study.
For Richard Glenn III, the biggest differences between learning the law in a classroom, and learning the law in a residency-in-practice, are the stakes.
In the classroom, it’s the pressure of earning a good grade that serves as motivation. In his recently completed residency at a Greensboro law firm, it’s the pressure of making sure a client’s future is secure that serves as motivation.
Glenn worked full-time from early January through mid March at the civil litigation firm of A.G. Linett & Associates. All Elon Law students complete a residency with lawyers or judges during their second year of study, and for Glenn – whose career interests are advocating for clients in the courtroom – there was no better fit than the firm.
A graduate of the political science and psychology programs at the University of Iowa, Glenn – a former mixed martial arts competitor who previously served as a class representative on the Student Bar Association – Glenn is the first to be featured in a springtime series of profiles on Elon Law students in the Class of 2019 completing their residencies in recent months. He answered questions recently about the learning experience.
What inspired you to pursue a legal education?
“I have always had the desire to help others and solve problems. The legal profession offers me the opportunity to do both as well as is a career that involves continued learning. These reasons appeal to the good-willed academic in me while the adversarial aspects of the profession appeal to my arguable overly competitive side.”
What responsibilities were you assigned as part of your residency and how did your classes prepare you for the tasks?
“I regularly research complex legal issues, many of which have familiar concepts that I was taught in my classes but with factual differences that require a more in-depth analysis. I write a considerable amount, which my classes have helped prepare me for, specifically Professor Sue Liemer’s LMC class. Mostly, my residency involves drafting memos or motions for the firm’s clients or attorneys, which has caused me to use a little bit of everything from my classes.”
How did your residency experiences reinforce your career goals or channel them in a new direction?
“At every step of my entrance into the legal profession, my choice to enter it has been affirmed. I love law school and it has come to no surprise to me that I have loved the actual practice of law as well. This residency opportunity has reinforced my desire to practice civil litigation as I find myself enjoying the complex problems that I have been presented with as well as having enjoyed being able to meet the people I am helping.”
Can you share one thing you learned during your residency that you don’t think would have happened solely by attending class?
“Although I do love law school, I find that I am far more motivated when it comes to researching and writing on topics in residency, and I believe this is because I am helping real people. The pressure that comes with having someone trust you to help them with whatever legal issue they are facing is far greater than the pressure of getting a good grade. Although I do enjoy the thrilling time that is law school finals, the satisfaction that comes with knowing you are helping someone in their life is more thrilling to me.”
In what ways do you predict your approach to classes and bar preparation might change because of your residency?
“I don’t foresee my approach to classes changing because of my residency, but I will probably be taking a lot of the lessons regarding time management with me when I start bar prep.”
About Elon Law:
Elon University School of Law in Greensboro, North Carolina, is the preeminent school for engaged and experiential learning in law. With a focus on learning by doing, it integrates traditional classroom instruction with course-connected, full-time residencies-in-practice in a logically sequenced program of transformational professional preparation. Elon Law’s groundbreaking approach is accomplished in 2.5 years, which provides distinctive value by lowering tuition and permitting graduates early entry into their legal careers.