From clerkships to clinical assistantships to working as summer associates at firms, summer legal work helps students gain practical skills and experiences that benefit them during law school and beyond. This is the fourth profile in our 2013 series featuring the summer job experiences of UW Law students.
John Blimling ’14
Summer Associate, Mayer Brown, LLP, Chicago, Ill.
Describe your summer work experience.
As a summer associate in the Chicago office of Mayer Brown, I completed about a dozen projects in a wide variety of practice areas. Mayer Brown has no formal "rotation" system for its summer associates, but instead uses a "free market" system that allows some choice in the types of projects we work on. For example, one of my projects involved assisting an international nonprofit organization with its corporate restructuring, which included recommending changes to its articles of incorporation and bylaws.
What surprised you most about the work?
What surprised me most was how prepared I was to do the work. I went into the summer worried that I would have no idea how to "be a lawyer," but between the skills I gained during my first two years of law school and the guidance provided by the firm, I was able to complete substantive work that clients actually used.
What classes were particularly useful in preparing you for your summer job?
Business Organizations I and II were invaluable for me this summer. Because most firm clients are businesses, having an understanding of business structures and governance was crucial to my success as a summer associate. I also relied heavily on the skills I gained in Legal Research and Writing and through my experience as a member of Law Review.
How do you think this work experience will shape the rest of your time at UW Law School?
Working on different types of projects really helped me determine the areas of law I want to practice—corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions. By the end of my summer experience, I had completely revised my course schedule for the fall by both adding and dropping classes. I also became interested in writing academic articles on a couple of different subjects, which I plan to pursue this year. Very broadly, I’m thinking of writing about agency costs passed along to investors, as a result of ineffective Securities and Exchange Commission regulations originally designed to protect shareholders.
Submitted by Law School News on May 13, 2015