2L Anjana Kanth strengthens writing skills with judicial internship

Aug 31, 2022 | Belonging & Access

As a proud University of Utah student during her undergrad years, Anjana Kanth already had the S.J. Quinney College of Law on her radar when she decided to pursue law school. But the small class sizes and experiential learning opportunities at Utah Law really sealed the deal.

It wasn’t until she started law school as a student in 2021 that she realized how truly supportive and welcoming the Utah Law community is – saying it felt like “home.”

“At SJQ, there are so many different student groups geared towards including every type of student,” she said. “Even if you don’t want to join a club, it’s cool to know that your classmates care about supporting one another.”

As a first-year law student, Kanth had to endure the infamous legal memo assigned during the Legal Methods class. This is every law student’s first true attempt at the difficult task of legal writing. This challenging assignment helped Kanth learn how to begin the research and organization needed to write legal memos.

Those skills came in handy the summer after her 1L year, as Kanth applied for a judicial internship with the Utah Supreme Court.

“I was eager to apply for an internship at the Utah Supreme Court after hearing from professors and attorneys that their judicial internships seriously strengthened their research and writing skills,” Kanth said.

Kanth was extended an offer from Chief Justice Matthew Durrant, who highlighted her particularly strong writing sample as a reason for bringing her onboard. She spent the summer researching appellate cases that made it to the highest court in Utah and writing bench memoranda to help the clerks and the chief justice craft opinions. She also spent time editing and proofreading draft opinions and checking citations before the opinions were published.

“The feedback and mentorship I received at my internship really has helped me sharpen my legal writing, research, and bluebooking skills,” she said. “Exposure to all different kinds of cases has also helped me to decide which areas of law I want to one day practice.”

Kanth, who is South Asian American, applied for this judicial internship through the American Bar Association’s Judicial Intern Opportunity Program (JIOP) for diverse students.

“I think programs like JIOP are especially valuable to help students who are traditionally underrepresented in the legal profession feel that they belong and can succeed in typically white-male dominated spaces like the court,” Kanth said.

After spending the summer researching appellate cases, Kanth is looking forward to taking the Appellate Practice course taught by Adjunct Professor Nathan Jack. Both this class and the judicial internship are setting her up for success in achieving her career goal to one day brief and argue appeals before the court.

This fall, Kanth is externing with the Salt Lake Office of Guardian Ad Litem and she will be participating in the summer associate program at Snow Christensen & Martineau next summer. After graduation, Kanth hopes to stay in Salt Lake City to practice family and employment law.