Podcast: The 2022 Summer Associate Experience – Part 2Read Time: 12 mins
The summer associate experience is different at every law firm. Each one has its own personality and chooses to coordinate its program in a different way. Here at McGlinchey, we’re extraordinarily proud of our law clerk program. This episode is the second in our series of discussions with our 2022 summer associates.
Gabriel Guajardo, III
Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
Washington & Lee School of Law
Southern University Law Center
Southern University Law Center
Tulane University Law School
Andrew Albritton: Hey, everyone, and welcome to part two of our 2022 law clerk experience podcast. My name is Andrew Albritton and I’m here facilitating a conversation with our five law clerks from our New Orleans and Baton Rouge offices. I am a first-year Associate in our Labor and Employment practice group. I had the awesome experience of getting to clerk with McGlinchey not once, not twice, but three times: first as a 1L (Leadership Council on Legal Diversity) LCLD Scholar after my 1L year of law school. Then again, during my second year, which happened to be during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. And then during my spring semester of my last year of law school. Clerking for McGlinchey was an incredible experience and is the reason why I’m here today.
I’m so excited that I got to participate in our law clerk program this summer, facilitating activities with all five of these clerks. And I’m really looking forward to talking to them today about how their experience went.
So first up we have Ian Joseph in our Baton Rouge office. Ian is a 1L Scholar through our partnership with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. What made you decide to come to Baton Rouge and clerk with McGlinchey?
Ian Joseph: Yeah. Thank you, Andrew, for the question and thank McGlinchey for putting this podcast together. It’s really a cool opportunity to be able to speak to the next generation coming after us. But yeah, so like Andrew said, I’m originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and now go to Washington and Lee school of Law in Virginia. And so when I began my search for where I wanted to clerk over the summer, obviously I started on websites. I’d never heard of McGlinchey Stafford beforehand, but I started to do a deep dive into the website and really liked what I saw in terms of their summer associate program. I really liked all the practice areas that are offered by the firm and thought that it would present a good opportunity to be able to get to see the litigation side, get to see the transactional side, and really figure out where I want to go as I progress in my legal education.
And then, like Andrew said, I was able to participate in the LCLD program, which was a big factor in me choosing McGlinchey — being able to meet other diverse law students around the country, being able to meet Gabe before we started, as he was a part of the program as well. It was really cool to be able to experience that and get some insights from already practicing attorneys, to see where and how we could help the legal field become more diverse in the future. And then, after I applied and got the interview, I interviewed with both Amanda Stout and Kristi Richard here in the Baton Rouge office. And I had the best time on the interview and, I really thought that these are people I’d really think I’d love to work with if I was presented the opportunity. And lastly, I guess I’ll say that McGlinchey being a national firm, that was something that really piqued my interest. With having the multiple offices and me being from the east coast, I saw it as an opportunity that, if I were to be able to get invited back, there might be some more flexibility where I could move to a different office if I were allowed to do that. And so I think just a combination of all those things I’ve talked about really pushed me towards choosing McGlinchey for my 1L summer.
Andrew Albritton: That’s awesome, Ian, I’m glad that we could give you such a great experience. And it is, speaking from personal experience, it’s definitely a noble effort to be invested in promoting the diversity of the legal profession.
And you mentioned Gabe Guajardo, who is here in our New Orleans office as our second 1L LCLD Scholar. Gabe comes to us from Austin by way of San Antonio. And he is a 1L at Loyola University Law School. I was actually in Gabe’s interview, and so I got to meet him a few months back. Gabe, what did you hope to get out of your summer clerkship experience?
Gabriel Guajardo: Well, good question, Andrew. And thanks for having me here. There’s a couple things. First would be hands on experience. I wanted to see what it’s like at a law firm versus being in a law school class, an academic setting versus a practical setting. Second, I wanted to improve on my legal writing skills a little bit. I felt like I was able to accomplish that by getting great feedback from some of the attorneys that I worked alongside with this summer. I also wanted to learn the ins and outs of digital marketing. And at one of the LinkedIn lunches we had here at the firm, I was just shown so many different things that I didn’t even know I needed to to look at. And finally, also I wanted to see, like Ian had mentioned, how a firm with a national presence operated. Being here in New Orleans and it being predominantly civil law, I was interested to see what it would be like to interact with attorneys from all over the nation. And I found out firsthand, I worked with attorneys in the DC office and the Seattle office, and it was a really enriching experience.
Andrew Albritton: That’s awesome, Gabe, and it’s really interesting that you mentioned digital marketing considering we’re recording a podcast right now. I haven’t heard any law clerks at any other firm have the opportunity to record a podcast during their summer clerkship. So I’m glad that you got to have that experience.
Up next, we have Alexis Minor, also in our Baton Rouge office, who is enrolled at Southern University Law Center, where she has an extensive list of accomplishments. But her biggest accomplishment is being here in our Baton Rouge office, of course! Alexis, what has been your favorite experience so far in your clerkship?
Alexis Minor: My favorite experience here at McGlinchey this summer was attending the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals hearing for Mike Rubin, an appellate lawyer here in the Baton Rouge office, which is a rare experience. So it was really cool to be able to sit there and not only hear his hearing, but also the following docket hearings. Coming to McGlinchey, my focus was to gain litigation experience, and to be able to have that exposure, but not only on a district court level, but federal court level, was really amazing. And I thank McGlinchey for giving me the opportunity to sit in on his hearing.
Andrew Albritton: Awesome. Thank you, Alexis. We’re really glad to have you.
Next up, we have Thomas Taylor, who is at my alma mater, Tulane University Law School (roll wave). Thomas is a 2L and he’s involved in moot court at the law school. He also has a really interesting background in that he was a member of the United States Marine Corps for 12 years and rose through the ranks there. He also previously interned at NASA’s office of general counsel. So having such an interesting background, Thomas, what’s something that surprised you that you learned this summer?
Thomas Taylor: Thanks, Andrew. Yeah, so interesting background, 12 years of the military, extensive experience in that type of setting, and then did a little bit of public interest law, a little bit of private practice law at a smaller firm prior to coming here. And I’m appreciative of the experience of getting to see a full service firm and a national firm like Ian referenced, and seeing what that was like. And I think the one thing that stood out to me the most was just the accessibility of everyone at the firm, whether it be a first year associate like yourself, or a senior member, or someone among the professional staff. Anytime I had any question, anytime I needed any kind of help with a matter, everyone was open and inviting to bring me in. I was really taken back by how I was able to work on projects from multiple practice groups and everyone wanted and valued my input as an intern. It’s just an overall invaluable experience. Being able to see the many different practice groups, being able to work with the many different attorneys, everything about McGlinchey was warm and welcoming. And that’s something that I won’t forget, regardless of how this internship pans out and whether I have a career here in the future.
Andrew Albritton: Thank you for that Thomas. And I will say we do have the best professional staff anywhere. They’re awesome. They do everything they can to support us and our clerks, obviously. I will say what you touched on about the diversity of the projects that you got to work on is something that I always advise law clerks about, making sure to accept projects from every different practice group and see as much as you can.
And speaking of advice, up next, we have Jenn Nguyen, who is a 2L at Southern University Law Center, where she is the chair of the Student Bar Association’s mentorship program. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Louisiana State University, and she’s in our Baton Rouge office. And I’d like to ask you, Jenn, what is your advice for students who are applying for clerkships?
Jennifer Nguyen: Thank you for your question, Andrew. So initially, before doing on campus interview applications and stuff like that, I never really imagined wanting to do anything with litigation. And so I came in pretty closed-minded and I got to talk to someone this summer about advice going into the clerkship at McGlinchey. And he told me to keep an open mind about the types of things that you’ll experience, whether that be going to see any of the attorneys going to court, or just taking on various projects from different practice groups. McGlinchey is a full service national firm, and I never really thought that I would have any sort of interest on that side of law, especially since I wasn’t really exposed to it in law school. We don’t really take some of these classes. We don’t really learn much about bankruptcy or anything in law school at this point.
So getting to see some of that play out at the clerkship, I beat myself up over it, because I was like, “man, I should have kept an open mind,” like, going in and like, I was a little nervous like, “oh, I don’t know if this is going to be for me.” I’m excited, but I wasn’t sure if I would like it. And now, I’m coming in to our last week of the program and I’m like, wow, I definitely, 1. want to do litigation. Just seeing it, the performance and the preparation, I felt like this is something that I could see myself doing. And then 2. just gaining a genuine interest in this area of law that I had no idea really existed. Because you know, we go to law school and we learn so much in class, but we don’t really know what goes on beyond the classroom, unless we’re in a law firm and we’re actually doing projects. So that’s what I’d say. Just keep an open mind and to really just be sure that you’re giving everything a chance before you make assumptions about the type of practice of law that you want to do. Because, you know, your summer may change your mind.
Andrew Albritton: I agree with you 110%, Jenn. I think that’s great advice.
Now, one other thing that I do mention whenever we talk about the clerkship experience is that, of course it’s like a six week long job interview. You’re meeting a lot of people, you’re doing work, and you’re learning a lot about the profession. But a huge part of the clerkship experience is the activities that go on outside of the office. So for our lightning round, I want to ask each of you guys to say in five to 10 words, what your favorite experience has been outside of the office. So let’s start with you Alexis.
Alexis Minor: My favorite experience has been the after work gatherings, I’ve been able to really get to know the attorneys here, not just what they do in their practice areas, but also about their personal life and really trying to connect with them.
Andrew Albritton: How about you, Thomas?
Thomas Taylor: Well, Andrew I’d second what Alexis said. The after-hours social events where you really get to meet the attorneys and see the dynamics between the different practice groups, but not only that, get a feel for the people outside of the office. So I’m a married man with one daughter and one on the way. So being able to speak to attorneys who are also married with kids and see about work-life balance and how they try to accomplish that as a practicing attorney was really insightful for me.
Andrew Albritton: And congratulations, by the way, Thomas.
Thomas Taylor: Thank you.
Andrew Albritton: Gabe, how about you?
Gabriel Guajardo: My favorite after work activity probably was bowling at Fulton Alley. It was a great opportunity to unwind after work, meet with not only attorneys in the New Orleans office, but also some of the members from other locations, as well as getting to know the professional staff.
Andrew Albritton: And I think your team won, right?
Gabriel Guajardo: Yeah, we might have.
Andrew Albritton: How about you, Ian?
Ian Joseph: I agree with what everybody said. I’d probably say that Galatoire’s lunch that we were able to attend this past Friday. It was really super cool to be able to spend that much time with the New Orleans folks that we haven’t been able to see as much as the Baton Rouge attorneys and staff. So that was a really cool opportunity just to see everybody there outside the office and just get a feel for how the firm likes to get down outside the office.
Andrew Albritton: Office. I agree that Galatoire’s is such a special experience. And last but not least, Jenn, what has been your favorite outside of the office experience?
Jennifer Nguyen: I think just to sum up what everybody has said so far, it’s been really fun getting to know the attorneys outside of the office, on a more personal level. So being in that environment of Galatoire’s and it just being like a huge thing, and seeing different attorneys from different New Orleans law firms at the restaurant. It was really cool and getting to really spend time with New Orleans peeps. That was really fun too, because we really don’t get to see them as much, but when we do get to see them, it’s always a good time. I would definitely say Galatoire’s.
Andrew Albritton: Jenn, the Galatoire’s experience is such a classic New Orleans experience. We even had a second line run through the restaurant while we were there. And the culture of New Orleans really permeates the entire firm throughout all of our offices. So that’s a great answer.
And with that said, I think we are just about out of time today. I am so happy that I got to meet all five of you during your summer clerkship, and I look forward to your last week. I can’t wait to see where your legal career takes you! Thanks everyone for listening. I’m Andrew Albritton and this has been “More with McGlinchey.”
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