This summer, I spent a few days per week working as a research associate for the Federalist Society. If you know anything at all about “FedSoc”, you know it is the preeminent organization in the conservative/libertarian legal movement. Their reach is as wide as their influence is strong. Six of the nine current Supreme Court justices are members as are thousands of lawyers, law students, and scholars across the country.
I applied to FedSoc because I am exploring whether or not I would like to attend law school after I graduate and I wanted to get substantive work in the legal field that would give me clarity on that decision. I also knew about FedSoc’s scope of influence in the conservative legal movement and thought I couldn’t go wrong by working for them for a summer. Lastly, I wanted to make more conservative friends who want to pursue law as a career. I was thrilled when I was offered the position.
I worked in the student division of the Federalist Society. I was tasked with researching potential speakers who law students could invite to their campus. I was also asked to create a list of “hot topics” that are developing in the legal world, write a brief synopsis of those topics, and compile them into a brochure that is distributed to FedSoc chapter presidents in law schools across the country. In doing this I learned a lot about the law and the legal community itself. I spent my days reading Supreme Court opinions, listening to lectures from renowned constitutional law professors, and writing briefs about cases handed down from the courts. I wasn’t paid for this internship but I didn’t care. Doing my work each day was truly a joy.
I live in Maryland. The Federalist Society’s national office is in DC just a few blocks from the White House. When I was hired in January, my boss explained that all he could promise me was a remote internship for the summer. Many other interns were told this too. I accepted the position while hoping that DC would reopen and that I could travel down once per week to work in person. That is exactly what happened.
Going to the office was usually the highlight of my work week. There were a few other interns who were able to show up consistently as well. We had a blast together. It didn’t take long for us to become really good friends. We spent our breaks discussing constitutional law, politics, theology, the best pizza places in DC, sports, and everything in-between. I am blessed to be able to call them my friends. I trust we will keep in touch as we all graduate and look forward to law school.
Since I was an intern, I was invited to certain Federalist Society events like their annual Supreme Court Round-Up and the Student Leadership Conference. At SLC I was able to meet law students from all across the country and ask for their advice on where to apply, how to get involved, and things to look for in a law school. The students at SLC, some of whom are slated to clerk for federal judges next year, were very generous with their time and advice.
Towards the end of my time, my fellow interns and I were invited to a private lunch in the chambers of Judge Ryan Holte of the Court of Federal Claims. Judge Holte and his clerks were very hospitable to us and eager to give advice to us interns about our prospective legal careers and for that I am thankful. The Court of Federal Claims takes a lot of cases about intellectual property but still, I was surprised to find out that almost all of Judge Holte’s clerks were engineers before they went to law school. It goes to show that there is a demand in the legal field for people of different educational backgrounds since the law is so all-encompassing.
I am sad to have just finished my time at the Federalist Society for this summer. Certainly, I would work for them again if I ever got the chance, and when I go to law school there is no doubt in my mind that I will be involved with running a chapter. The experience I have gained, all that I have learned, and the friendships that I fostered all made this summer a great one.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.