The first weeks of my D.C. externship at L/CID (Legal Advisor’s Office – International Claims and Investment Disputes) were a whirlwind! It's sort of like initiation. You feel lost, like you belong, like you made the right decision, like you have no idea what you're doing. You notice that it takes about a week to even gain access to the whole system, then realize you actually are making progress on your first project and then... you realize it's all going to be a-okay. Better even.
At my first all-staff meeting, interns were invited to a Farewell Party for outgoing Legal Advisor Harold Koh.
But it was in the Harry S. Truman building.
While our office approves of “casual Friday,” Main State is never "casual Friday."
There was a rumor that Hilary would speak.
One girl thought she just wouldn't go because she too was wearing jeans. I teetered back and forth and finally thought: "No. This is why OU set this up. This is exactly the type of thing that everyone envisioned as a part of this opportunity. Don't be silly. Just ask Neal about running home; the office isn't going to care." So I ran home, changed, ran back (semi-literally) and made it back in time to do a bit of work before the reception.
Who knows what prompted this, but the next thing I know I am standing in the middle of everyone, extending my hand to Mr. Koh. "This may be a little bold, but I wanted to say ‘Hi.’ I am one of the new interns in Legal. I've heard great things about you from each of them, and this was my last shot before you left to teach." It turns out we had a mutual friend from Tulsa. It wouldn't have been so funny except for the fact that everything seemed so still. I met his wife, his kids, his brother. Everything turned out just fine.
Then I was determined to try and find Mrs. (and now Prof.) Aswad. The room was packed. Right as I was about to give up hope, I spotted her right in front of me!
I’ll conclude with an observation: Interns are all over the place! GW, Georgetown, George Mason, Maryland, American... It's fun to say "Oklahoma." Love it.
I have met students here who have the opportunity to intern in D.C. all the time. One even said, "This is my third time at State." That girl was a 2L. What!? Whoa. At the same time, this is exactly why we (OU) need to be here too. We deserve to be here. Everyone loved J.D. Brown from last semester, and I am pretty darn positive that I am off to a good start to make you all just as proud. We belong here. So thank you, congratulations, and good work for jumping on this. We will all leave a good imprint, whoever gets to come here in the future. Just be sure to encourage them to take full advantage of what this city has.
If you get the right person here, which you inevitably and undeniably will, considering OU's process, they will be fantastic. Everyone in the department has been great so far. It will be fun to see where we are at the end of this. It's going to fly by. The first two weeks were an adventurous short story. This semester will be one, too.
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