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Stephanie Davidson, 3L

Where are you working this summer?
Cosgrave Vergeer Kester LLP in Portland, Oregon. 

What are your responsibilities?
Generally, I see my role as providing support to CVK attorneys. This involves doing research, drafting complaints, and writing memos on questions of law.

How did you find and secure this opportunity?
I got this opportunity through the On-Campus Interview (OCI) program at Oregon Law.

What excites you most about this summer employment?
I work with real clients on real problems every day that I go to work. I am learning more about law practice than I ever thought I would before joining the profession.

What knowledge, skills, or experiences are you hoping to gain?
This summer, my goal is to familiarize myself with as many aspects of law practice as possible, and build skills that will help me when I enter practice. This means observing proceedings such as hearings, depositions, arbitration, and client meetings. It also means asking for opportunities to draft pleadings and business documents. In the process of doing this, my writing has gotten stronger, and I've learned how to effectively communicate with different types of people. My goal is to continue working on these skills through the summer, and even after my position at CVK wraps up.

How have your studies at Oregon Law thus far prepared you for this summer employment?
Oregon Law's program has taught me the basics of how to write well, and how to approach legal issues. In addition, Professor [Liz] Tippet's Employment Law class has changed the way I approach my work. After taking Employment Law I see the goal of law practice as providing value to a client – not as sitting isolated in an office trying to figure out what the law means out of context. I often reference what we learned in that class when doing projects at my current job.

Do you have any advice for future students curious about securing summer employment?
Network. Even if you think you are socially awkward and terrible at making small talk, network. Each networking event I went to last year built my confidence and taught me how to have conversations with people who may or may not have anything in common with me. Even though I didn't get my current job through networking, the interpersonal skills that I honed while struggling through networking events helped me in the OCI process. While my credentials had something to do with my success during OCI, I think my interpersonal skills and strong interviews gave me an edge over other candidates.

In addition, I am looking forward to serving as an extern for Judge Darleen Ortega of the Oregon Court of Appeals in the fall. I first met Judge Ortega through the Oregon State Bar's "Opportunities for Law in Oregon" event, and kept in touch with her throughout the last couple of years. I ended up reaching out to Judge Ortega when I decided that I wanted experience working as a judicial extern; after a few emails I applied, and she accepted my application. Again, I am sure that my credentials had something to do with this, but the rapport that I have built with Judge Ortega certainly helped, too.

Is there anything else that you would like to tell us about your summer employment?
I was featured on the CVK website! I hope this means that they like me.

Summer Employment 2013 Web Series


Oregon Law » Current Students » Summer Employment 2013 » Stephanie Davidson, 3L