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Oregon Law Students Public Interest Fund

Matthew Gurnick

With the help of an OLSPIF Stipend, I spent this past summer working as a Judicial Intern under the Honorable Socrates Peter Manoukian at the Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose, California. Judge Manoukian supervises the Civil Discovery Calendar for California’s fourth-largest court. I conducted research and drafted tentative rulings in advance of court hearings. Several of the orders I wrote were contested issues for which parties later appeared in court. As a result, I had the informative experience of watching attorneys argue the discovery matters I had researched. The time I spent observing proceedings in the courtroom provided insight into how to be an effective legal advocate in court. In addition, due to the complex nature of many of the cutting-edge issues pertaining to Silicon Valley, I received valuable instruction on intellectual property, high-tech litigation, real estate, business issues and jurisdiction. MattGurnick

As an intern with the Santa Clara County Superior Court, I also had the opportunity to tour many of the state’s government facilities, including the Main Jain, Coroner’s Office, San Quentin State Prison, California Court of Appeal and California Supreme Court. From these visits, I have grown to better understand how the State interacts with its citizens within the legal context. I was able to contextualize many of the complex legal issues frequently discussed in the media and law classes – incarceration rates, inmate rights, prison hunger strikes, and restorative justice. In speaking to inmates at San Quentin I saw first hand how incarceration affects people and their families. I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in such activities.

Finally, in working with Judge Manoukian, I found a willing and insightful mentor. His advice and guidance has been tremendous in moving forward with my legal career. Working with him has made me a more diligent researcher, articulate writer, and persuasive advocate. My summer internship has provided me with a strong foundation of knowledge and experiences that will help me grow into a professional for which OLSPIF and the University of Oregon School of Law can be proud.

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