Externship Profile: U.S. Attorney’s Office

Going from the classroom to the real world, Charleston School of Law students Aliecia Bores and Drew Joiner gained valuable hands-on experience while externing at the U.S. Attorney’s Office this summer.

Rising second-year law student Bores, originally from Ohio, knew she wanted exposure to criminal law, prompting her to apply for the U.S. Attorney’s externship. “The first day I started I was told that there are no dumb questions and to be upfront if I was confused about something,” said Bores.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office protects and serves the citizens of South Carolina through ethical, vigorous and impartial law enforcement. This summer, Joiner and Bores saw first-hand such application, having the opportunity to meet many judges and attorneys, sit in on various court proceedings, draft appellate briefs, assist with trial preparations, witness questioning and jury selection.

What interested Joiner most about an externship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office was how the office represents the United States interests in both criminal and civil actions, allowing him to see several types of court proceedings. Both students assisted and watched several different hearings, allowing them to utilize their classroom knowledge to the real world.

Along with other law students, Bores assisted with a jury selection in front of the Honorable Patrick Michael Duffy, senior U.S. district judge. “This was interesting to me because I just finished learning all about how a jury is selected and the rules about making strikes in Civil Procedure with Professor Janssen,” said Bores.“It is so rewarding to be able to put what I have worked so hard to learn during school into my daily activities at my externship.”

By working closely with attorneys and support staff, Joiner explains a valuable experience of his summer, “I was able to write an appellate brief on Fourth Amendment issues. The brief was submitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and I received an authorship credit.” The externship has shaped his legal career, as he now plans to practice federal criminal jurisprudence after graduation.

Bores’ favorite part of her externship was how much she was able to do while working with the U.S. Attorney. “I am encouraged to sit in on meetings, meet judges and attend court,” said Bores.

In addition to the hands-on experience, Bores has been able to build a professional network. “I have met so many attorneys and judges working here in Charleston that have expressed their willingness to help me in any way they can as I finish school and during my legal career.” Through these interactions, Bores accepted a clerkship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the remainder of the summer and the school year.

Both externs encourage students to apply for an externship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, explaining how much there is to learn in such a short time.  Joiner adds, “Apply early and be prepared to work hard. It all pays off in the end.”

Charleston School of Law’s externship program allows students to gain practical work experience while earning course credit. Students complement their classroom studies by working under the direct supervision of members of the judiciary or attorneys in the public sector. This summer, Charleston School of Law students are at 28 dynamic externships sites helping the community. Since fall 2006, Charleston School of Law students have completed approximately 72,829 externship hours.

Story and photography by Lucy J. Remitz.

Read more externship profiles:

  • Externship Profile: Crisis Ministries
  • Externship Profile: DHEC-OCRM
  • Externship Profile: MUSC
  • Externship Profile: U.S. District Court
  • Externship Profile: City of Charleston Legal Department
  • Externship Profile: Seamen’s Church Institute

Release Date: 8/1/2012