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Koorosh Famitafreshi

Texas Third Court of Appeals with Judge Chari Kelly’s Chambers — Austin, Texas

Koorosh Famitafreshi

How did you get your job, and how long have you been there? 

I got my job through the OCI postings provided by the OCS office at St. Mary’s University School of Law. The Judicial Internship Opportunity Program (JIOP) that I applied to gave me a wide net of potential judicial internships and provided a stipend to help reduce the out-of-pocket expenses I was responsible for during the internship. The internship is from June to July.

What do you like most about your job?

I like the mentorship I received from the staff attorney that I am assigned to. This mentorship allowed me to develop my writing and research skills while doing the substantive work of writing opinions for actual cases before the court.

What is the most challenging part about your job? 

The most challenging part about my job is accepting that a considerable amount of research and behind the scenes thinking goes into every project that I work on. I may read for two or three full workdays on a particular topic before even typing a word for the opinion. This is drastically different from the fast-paced law school workflow which requires me to update my outlines and study materials multiple times throughout the day.

How do you think this experience has helped you in your career path? 

This experience has helped me pull back the curtain on how a judge thinks about cases and works with her staff to develop an opinion. I am sure this experience will prove invaluable as a practitioner when I am on the other side of the equation submitting my work products to the court on behalf of a client. My supervising judge has also taken on a mentorship role and has helped me make crucial connections during my time in Austin.

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned at this job? 

The most valuable thing I have learned about this job is that it is generally better to do something correctly when it comes to legal analysis than it is to do it quickly.

Do you plan to continue working at this job into the next school year, and after graduation?

While the summer judicial internships are not designed to be repeat experiences with the same judge, I will most definitely seek other opportunities to work in a judge’s chambers to improve my legal analytical skills.

What doors has this job opened for you, whether in your personal or professional life?

The judge I work for has made it a point to introduce me to other judges and lawyers who work in my field of interest. These introductions have produced everything from useful advice to referrals to a firm that has allowed me to secure an interview. 

What is the one piece of advice you have for other students? 

Make your grades your number one priority during your first year of law school and apply to every job or program that interests you to keep your options open.