Jaime Wisegarver, L’10 registered for a Clinical Placement Program during the spring semester of her 2L year hoping to get some behind-the-scenes experience in a federal judge’s chambers and a break from the casebooks. Her judicial placement with The Honorable Henry E. Hudson, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, quickly became the highlight of her semester and a stepping-stone to a post-graduation federal clerkship in West Virginia. 

As a student intern in Judge Hudson’s chambers, Jaime worked closely with the Judge and his clerks conducting research, aiding in the drafting of orders and opinions, and observing court proceedings. Being a part of the legal analytical process with the Judge and his team was an invaluable experience, one that solidified Jaime’s interest in clerking. After working at the Petersburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Office and a Richmond law firm, Hirschler Fleischer, the summer after her 1L year, the Clinical Placement Program was yet another opportunity to better understand the work of trial attorneys. The procedures, strategies, and practices of the federal court system became much more clear after witnessing the progression of civil and criminal cases first-hand.

Jaime says, “There is no substitution for being directly involved in the decision-making process and observing the variety of cases on the daily docket. As a member of the Moot Court Board and the Trial Advocacy Board at UR Law, I have had the opportunity to participate in competitions around the country, trying mock cases and presenting oral arguments before panels of judges.  Observing the attorneys who appeared before Judge Hudson helped me to sharpen my own skills by taking notes on the tactics and styles that were most successful.” 

Jaime also noticed an improvement in her legal writing after her semester in the Clinical Placement Program. “I am fortunate to have had the chance to work with so many brilliant practitioners who specialize in a variety of practice areas. I have become a better legal writer as a result of submitting my work to these experienced editors.” 

As a trial attorney, communication skills are essential. Jaime’s work experience, classes, and extracurricular endeavors have helped shape her into a confident advocate. In the fall of 2010 Jaime will be clerking for a federal Judge in West Virginia. “I am looking forward to once again being in chambers, working closely with the judge, and soaking in all that I can from the courtroom, the cases, and the attorneys.”