This week, we talk about the experiences that law students and recent law grads have during their internships, summer associate positions, and their judicial clerkships. While most of us work very hard to make sure that these (traditionally young) associates and clerks enjoy and learn from their experiences, today’s guests understands firsthand that not all of these experiences are positive. Aliza Shatzman, the co-founder of the Legal Accountability Project, talks with us about her judicial clerkship, which essentially derailed her legal career before it even gets started.
While Shatzman’s dream of becoming a Homicide Prosecutor was taken from her, she took this negative experience and used it as motivation to start the Legal Accountability Project with her WashU classmate, Matt Goodman. The Project’s purpose is to “ensure that as many law clerks as possible have positive clerkship experiences, while extending support and resources to those who do not.”
The Legal Accountability Project is partnering with multiple law schools to create a post-clerkship survey that allows them to share their experiences (both positive and negative) through a database which will be shared with future clerks so they are better informed on what to expect from the clerkships. The idea is to use the data collected to quantify any issues and to craft effective solutions.
AALL Crystal Ball Question: Emily Janoski-Haehlen
Our Crystal Ball answer this week comes from the Dean of Akron Law School, Emily Janoski-Haehlen. Dean Janoski-Haehlen stresses the need for more legal skills training to better prepare students for legal practice. As a tie-in for the main interview, she also covers what questions her school asks returning summer associates and clerks and how they use those to help identify what is working and what needs improving.
Statement for the Record (Shatzman’s congressional testimony)
Music: Jerry David DeCicca