Cooper Smith ’23: Wabash experiences often lead to later, unexpected opportunities. After participating in (and loving) the Wabash Moot Court Competition, I knew I needed to find meaningful summer workinthe law –especially work that involved the same analysis and communication skills. Fortunately, the Office of the Indiana Attorney General was looking for a summer undergraduatelaw clerk. Whenit offered me the position,I eagerly accepted.Even though my work did change greatly due to COVID-19, I was fortunate that my internship was still possible.
I spent much of my time working with the Consumer Protection division on class action settlements.When a class action settlement is proposed incourt, each state’s office of the attorney general receives a copy of the settlement and additional essential information. If an attorney general has reason to believe that a settlement is ineffective or unjust, she has the opportunity to object or take other actions against the settlement. My task was intake; I reviewed these settlements as they came in, summarized them, and recommended action or inaction.To many, this may seem mundane. But to me, it was a fascinating window to real cases –and valuableskills.
My work developed my writing and critical reading skills. While these may sound like obvious, simple abilities, they are invaluable in legal practice.As I read settlements, I found greater familiarity with legal writing. When I wrote my recommendations, I had the opportunity to develop my craft. To understand each settlement, Iread dozens of documentsoutlining the agreements the parties had made. I had to read closely to catch any holes that could prevent an effective, just settlement. While I cannot go into details, I did catch major issues with somesettlements –issues that warrantedobjection and state action.These experiences and skills will benefit me in my furtherstudy at Wabash as well as my future career.