Experiences from Past Clerks
"My experience at the City Attorney's Office was invaluable. Having this unique experience on my resume helped me stand out and get my current job in Buffalo.
Nowhere else will you be able to get the hands-on experience of trying a jury trial by yourself! Most new students are turned away from positions because of a lack of experience. Well, an externship at the City Attorney's Office will give you that experience.
At the City Attorney's Office, you won't be sitting at a desk all day like most other externships. And despite everyone in the office being very busy, they are always willing to teach you and you will be amazed at how much you will learn there that you don't learn in law school. Not only do you gain knowledge, but you gain confidence as well. Every day is a new experience that you keep with you throughout your career!"
--Melissa B. Burke, Esq.
KENNEY SHELTON LIPTAK NOWAK LLP
What a difference three months make!
My externship with the Lansing City Attorney's Office has been very rewarding.
It's given me the confidence that I can walk into a courtroom on day one as an attorney and try a case confidently.
The experience would not have been as rewarding if it wasn't for the staff at the City Attorney's Office. Everyone treated me as part of the team and made me feel welcome.
COOLEY LAW SCHOOL '08
As an extern for the Lansing City Attorney's Office I was not only given the opportunity to experience local city government, I was able to actually participate in the process.
Most mornings when I picked up the local papers I was able to read about the very same legal issues I was working on in the Office.
It was exciting to have the "inside scoop" on the City's major legal and political issues.
Working with the Mayor and Lansing City Council through the City Attorney's Office was a phenomenal experience that gave me real insight on government and the political process.
MSU COLLEGE OF LAW '10
The Office of the City Attorney in Lansing was a wonderful and unique experience! It offers a very practical and real-life candor to the practice of law.
Being able to gain experience in its wide variety of practice areas definitely gave me an advantage in pursuing my legal career upon graduation. I feel very fortunate to have been a part of such a diverse and competent group of attorneys.
I cannot think of any other place where a law student will have the trust of the attorneys to try a case, run a case docket in district court, write a memo, and perform research all within the same week! You are fully immersed in the experience, and it is definitely one that I found worthwhile and long-lasting!
--Stephanie R. Ellis
XEROX CORPORATION, LEGAL STAFF
I was also exposed to the inner workings of city government. I observed and participated in the unique relationship that the City Attorney's Office plays between the City Council and the Mayor.
In addition, I had the opportunity to work with municipal law issues associated with the City Clerk's office and the Lansing Police Department. I also participated in researching and drafting an application for leave to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court, where I now clerk.
On a scale of 1 to 10, my externship was a 10. I was given meaningful assignments; and once I earned my supervisors' trust, I was actually allowed to practice law! I would recommend this experience to any hard-working student who is interested in litigation, city government, and municipal law.
CLERK TO JUSTICE MICHAEL CAVANAGH
MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT
My externship with the Office of the City Attorney afforded me the rare opportunity to truly experience the hands on practice of law. Under the guiding supervision of experienced attorneys, I directly participated in District Court trial and pleading preparation, I attended governmental committee meetings and I worked on challenging legal research projects.
The resulting skills I learned went well beyond any law school classroom experience. The wide variety of issues I was exposed to while an extern helped me plan my career path in the legal profession.
My externship has stood out on my resume and has without a doubt played a large part in fostering my current success as an attorney.
CLARK HILL, PLC
FORMER ASSISTANT TOWNSHIP MANAGER, DELTA CHARTER TOWNSHIP
FORMER HOUSING & NEIGHBORHOOD SPECIALIST, OFFICE OF THE CITY
ATTORNEY EXTERN, OFFICE OF THE CITY ATTORNEY, FALL 2004, SPRING 2005