Pivoting During a Pandemic to Find New Opportunities
This past year has been unconventional in many ways as law students navigate their education and professional opportunities during a global pandemic. John Reid ’22 experienced this first-hand when his original summer externship plans were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like many other students, Reid had to scramble to find new plans for his summer employment. Born and raised in Princeton, New Jersey–about an hour from campus– Reid was drawn to Villanova Law for its business and corporate law offerings, so he wanted to find a local opportunity for his summer experience. After searching for placements using the Law School’s online job resource, he applied and was selected for a legal externship with Griesing Law, LLC, a female-owned and operated law firm based in Philadelphia. During his time there, he worked entirely remotely, performing general law clerk duties, including legal research and writing, complaint and motion drafting, and contract review and drafting. He worked closely with senior lawyers on a wide variety of projects, and he contributed to the firm’s website, writing the article, “Remote Internship Experience: Learning How to be a Lawyer from My House.”
Reid enjoyed his experience with the firm and received impressive reviews from the lawyers with whom he worked. “John’s judgement and professionalism was outstanding,” commented Reid’s field supervisor, Edward T. Fisher, a Member in Griesing Law, LLC’s Commercial Litigation and Corporate Transactions & Compliance practice groups. “His writing ability was excellent, and his resourcefulness was above and beyond what we expected. All the attorneys who worked with him were extremely happy with his work and expressed their views about the phenomenal quality of his work.”
Although his placement was virtual, Reid did not feel it lacked in providing him with a valuable experience. “My externship was definitely not what I first imagined it would be when I began sending out applications during the spring semester,” commented Reid. “Despite the circumstances, I had a terrific experience with Griesing Law, which taught me so much about what it means to be a lawyer.”
Reid’s summer experience prepared him for a virtual law school experience in the fall, since some of his classes had to be moved online. Having worked exclusively from home with the law firm and communicating with attorneys virtually, he was already in the virtual mindset for this semester. Reid admits being in these unusual situations can present challenges, but he has been able to overcome any obstacles and persevere in his work.