What I Did My First Summer: Doug Crapo (SJQ 2013): Intern with Judge Tena Campbell and with the US Attorneys, Appellate Division

What I Did My First Summer: Doug Crapo (SJQ 2013): Intern with Judge Tena Campbell and with the US Attorneys, Appellate Division


Why did you come to law school? I came hoping to practice in resource and environmental law, but would do anything for an income.

What did you do last summer?  I interned the first third of the summer with the Honorable Tena Campbell at the U.S. District Court.  The second two thirds I was a volunteer summer clerk at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Appellate Division.

Why did you decide to do that? After Spring OCI left me empty handed, I began turning over every stone I could find.  I applied for anything that seemed interesting.  One of my friends told me to apply to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. And though it had nothing to do with natural resources, I decided to apply.

I ran into Judge Campbell, who I had known before coming to law school.  She asked me how my first semester went and how my summer looked like. She then offered to allow me to intern in her chambers.  I jumped on the offer.

I later heard from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. I had been accepted for the summer clerkship.  I talked to Judge Campbell who told me it would be fine to split and encouraged me to do so.

If you had a job, clinic or fellowship:  How did you learn of the opportunity and what was the application and interview process like?  Afterward, I heard that the U.S. Attorney’s Office was at the job fair, but I didn’t notice.  A good friend told me about the program and encouraged me to apply.  I just downloaded the application from the website.  It was a little odd because it requires an official transcript.  It was so close to the deadline that I walked the application into the office.  I found out later that the most important thing in my application was my writing sample.

What did you do on a day to day basis? At the judicial internship, I observed hearings, read motions and memos, and drafted opinions.  I worked with the clerks and the judge. At the U.S. Attorney’s Office I was handed appellant briefs and had the task of writing the appellee briefs. A lot of research and drafting. I also got to participate in interoffice meetings and attend trials that I found interesting.

What was the best part about what you did over the summer?  What did you learn?  I think the best part was seeing that the skills built during the 1L year could be put to use.  I actually felt like I was doing real work, which was uplifting.  But maybe the more important part was the friendships I made with some awesome people. I consider the clerks and supervisors I met to be good friends who I can rely on for good advice and recommendations.

What was your least favorite part (optional)?  I wish I had taken more of a break.  I took two weeks between finals and my first day.  But I ended up using that time on the journal write-on process.  I am glad I did, but I never got a chance to truly rest.

What advice do you have for the 1L’s who are thinking about what to do this summer? Do something.  It feels great taking a case and using it in creating real-world work product. Don’t worry if it is in the area of law you think you want to pursue; this could be the one time you get to do something different.  And make friends at whatever you do.  I enjoyed what I did, but I think any experience can be fruitful if you give it your best.