Second-year Charleston Law students Robert Donaldson and Cassity Brewer spent eight weeks of their summer externing with the City of Charleston Legal Department. Utilizing their strong research skills, they worked on various tasks including drafting ordinances for the City, sitting in on meetings with the City of Charleston staff and writing court documents.
Providing the students an opportunity to participate in several facets of the law is a key component of an externship with the City of Charleston. “Our externs collaborate with everyone in the office on real-world issues and are directly involved with the process,” explains Assistant Corporation Counsel Janie Borden, the students’ site supervisor.
Donaldson, born and raised in Charleston, graduated from Wofford College in 2011 then came back to Charleston for law school. “I wanted to extern at the City of Charleston because it was a chance to learn about the law in a place that I have spent my entire life,” said Donaldson. “Researching issues that I already had an awareness of was incredibly interesting.”
After growing up in England, Brewer’s family moved to Columbia, where she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of South Carolina. Externing for the City of Charleston provided Brewer the opportunity to experience a variety of legal areas. “I have learned a good deal about the zoning and municipal laws the City follows and how the City regulates tourism,” said Brewer.
Developing and improving their research skills was a key component to Donaldson and Brewer’s externship. “Having the opportunity to research a variety of different fields this summer has helped me further determine what type of law I want to practice,” Brewer explains.
“Most of our time is spent researching legal questions that our department gets from other departments within the City,” said Donaldson. “While attending Municipal Court I was able to observe the outcome of a case in which I contributed a draft on an opposition to a motion to dismiss. It was exciting to see my own legal research being applied in court.”