6.18.2009

Judicial Interns Enjoy a Night with Local Legal Professionals

Summer is heating up and so are the court rooms in Hampton Roads. Under the watchful eyes of local Hampton Roads judges, Regent Law judicial interns are honing their legal skills in each of the seven cities’ courts.

In partnership with these courts, Regent Law’s 8-week Judicial Internship Program is giving students the chance to study the work of judges, perform legal research, and observe courtroom interactions.

Started in 1998, the Judicial Internship Program currently provides 8-week summer internships for 31 Regent Law students at 15 Hampton Roads Courts including Circuit, Juvenile & Domestic Relations and General District Courts.

In just the first week of the program, student interns have been able to sit in on civil and criminal court hearings and assist with other court duties. In the weeks that follow, many will rotate between various specialty courts, gaining exposure to the full operation of each court by the end of the program. Some interns will work on special projects for judges, enhancing the administration of justice.

Opportunities such as shadowing a public defender or sitting in on a custody hearing help students make better decisions about what sort of law they want to practice. Students also gain exposure to the types of clients that they will one day represent, an invaluable glimpse into a judges’ critique of legal issues and the performance of the attorneys in his or her courtroom, and a practical application of the legal principles they’ve been studying in law school.

To honor the program’s participants, the Office of Career & Alumni Services hosted the 5th annual Judicial Intern Banquet on Tuesday, June 9 at the Founder’s Inn & Conference Center. Summer interns, attorneys, and approximately 15 local judges and their court personnel gathered to enjoy an additional benefit of the summer program – networking.

Regent enjoys a strong reputation with the local bar and judges, and the evening was spent bolstering student exposure to the legal professionals with whom they’ll work during law school and beyond.

According to Darius Davenport, Director of Career & Alumni Services, “This program provides a valuable component of the legal educational process by allowing our students to gain first hand exposure to our courts, the heart of our legal system.”

Event speakers included The Honorable Barry G. Logsdon, Chief Judge for the Newport News Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court and an alumnus of Regent University School of Law’s charter class of 1989.