Landing the “Perfect” Externship

GUEST BLOG Courtney Boykin,
2L at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

              Since my undergraduate days, I’ve always used my summers to take some kind of opportunity…

Summer 2018 is quickly approaching and you know what that means.

It’s time to find that “perfect” externship.

Since my undergraduate days, I’ve always used my summers to take some kind of opportunity to expose myself to different jobs in the field that I was interested in. Now that I’m in law school, it’s really no different.

Last summer I participated in my law school’s externship program and landed my first choice placement. I was so excited to have an externship directly related to my health law field interest. It was PERFECT! I met with the supervising attorney and was geared up for the upcoming season. She was such a great lady and we really meshed during our introductory meeting. A few weeks later, she relocated from the Health Department to the airport authority. As a result, I had to either follow her to the airport or go to another open placement.

Ultimately, I chose to follow the supervising attorney, not because the Airport Authority was directly on point with my interests (although retrospectively it definitely can be!!), but because the rapport I was building with the supervising attorney was more valuable than the substance I would’ve learned at the Health Department.

I learned a valuable lesson last summer. While you’re looking for the “perfect” internship, externship, or clerkship, remember that sometimes the potential relationship opportunities you have at one placement may outweigh the benefit of another “perfect” placement.

Last summer was perfect, not because I got my first choice…but because I gained great mentors. So, when you’re looking for the perfect opportunity, think broadly and try to connect with some awesome individuals.