Legal Field

Are you considering a job or internship in the legal field? Explore these online resources to get started.  

Interested in law school?  Check out our Pre-Law Advising resources, which includes a page of law related internship resources. Schedule an appointment to meet with a Career Advisor.

Quicklinks: Job and Internship Resources | Summer Internships & Programs | Gap Year Opportunities | Finding Jobs in the Private SectorStudent Organizations and Departmental Resources | Alumni to Know

Job and Internship Resources

Summer Internships & Programs

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Visit our Pre-Law Advising page for more information and resources.

Gap Year Opportunities

Finding Attorney Jobs in the Private Sector

Lawyers work in a variety of environments in the private sector including corporations (which often require more legal experience), large law firms, and small firms with narrow specialties. Below are tips on starting your law career path post law school. If you have more questions, set up an appointment in Handshake with a career advisor.

Large Firms

  • offer a variety of services which means you will practice law involving different issues (corporate law, taxes, real estate)
  • research large firms' summer associate program to be prepared and apply early
  • participate in on-campus interviews and remember to know who you are interviewing with if you have multiple interviews in a week
  • network with alumni and others in the legal profession to learn more about the industry and get interviewing tips

Small Firms

  • can either practice in several areas or have a focus in a certain specialized area
  • less structured hiring cycle, so it is important to research multiple firms to know when they have an opening
  • very important to network; job offers often depend on recommendations from others
  • look into gaining some attorney experience since smaller firms may not have as much training opportunities
  • seek informational interviews to learn more about the industry or specific firm

Student Organizations & Departmental Resources

  • Mock Trial - Washington and Lee Mock Trial provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to develop critical thinking and public speaking skills and an understanding of the American justice system and its practices and procedures through preparing for and engaging in trial simulations in competition with teams from other colleges and universities. The organization will participate in competitions under the aegis of the American Mock Trial Association, and in other mock trial competitions as the organization's governing body deems to be in the best interest of the organization.
  • Hearing Advisor Program - Hearing Advisors support, advise, and assist students accused of an honor or conduct violation in preparing and presenting their cases to the Executive Committee, the Student Judicial Council, and the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board. 

Alumni To Know

One of the best ways to explore careers and find job opportunities is to network with professionals. Below are alumni who have experience in the field and have volunteered to be a resource to you. Not sure how to begin networking? Stop by Career and Professional Development to get started.

G. Calvin Awkward III '06, '09L

Mr. Awkward is a 2006 graduate and majored in European History. During his time at Washington and Lee, he was a member of numerous organizations on campus to include Residential Life, Chi Psi fraternity, Nabors Service League, Gay-Straight Alliance, Multicultural Students Organization, Fancy Dress Committee, Traveller, and Peer Counselors. Mr. Awkward was also the chair of the Annual AIDS Awareness Fundraiser and 2004 W&L Voter Registration Drive. During the summers, Mr. Awkward interned in the Student Affairs Office at Washington and Lee.

J. Robertson Clarke '06, '11L

Mr. Clarke is an associate in the Financial Restructuring practice of the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in Dallas, TX. The practice focuses on the legal representation of various groups in complex chapter 11 bankruptcy cases and out-of-court restructurings, including committees and other group representations, various categories of lenders, and debtors and troubled companies.

Lena Golze-Desmond '10L

Lena Golze-Desmond graduated from Washington & Lee Law in 2010. At W&L, she had the opportunity to engage in several international law projects, including traveling to Liberia through the Access to Justice Practicum, to Tanzania as part of a report on its efforts to combat gender-based violence, and to Vienna on a summer internship with the U.N. Office of Drugs & Crime (prior to law school, she also had an internship with the International Criminal Court in The Hague). After graduating from W&L Law, she received an M.Sc. in Environmental Management from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, with a specialty in renewable energy, before returning to New York City.

Kasee Sparks Heisterhagen '06

Kasee graduated from Washington and Lee in 2006 after majoring in Religion and Politics. Kasee practices law at Burr & Forman, LLP. She is a versatile attorney with experience in the areas of admiralty and maritime law, creditors' rights, bankruptcy, and insurance litigation. Kasee works with clients on issues of maritime liens and vessel seizures and has in-depth experience in the fields of marine finance and marine related bankruptcies. Kasee also handles personal injury claims, including Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, and works with clients on cargo matters, property damage, and regulatory and administrative issues. Kasee serves on the Board of Directors for the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute and serves on multiple committees with the Maritime Law Association. Kasee handles bankruptcy litigation across the Federal Courts in the Southeast and advises debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, and fiduciaries in workouts, debt restructuring, financial transactions, and foreclosures.

Anne Idsal '05

Anne L. Idsal graduated from Washington and Lee in 2005 with a B.A. in Politics. Upon graduating she moved to Washington, DC to work for US Senator John Cornyn (TX) as a staff assistant, legislative correspondent, and finally as a legal assistant on the US Senate Judiciary Committee.

Angie Littlejohn '09L

Angie Littlejohn is General Counsel and Executive Associate Athletics Director for Furman University. As one of the youngest in-house legal counsels in Division I, Angie remains active in teaching sports law and coaching the Furman University Mock Trial teams.

Neil Millhiser '11L

Neil graduated from W&L Law in ’11. He received a BA in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing from Elon University in 2005.

Kate Lester Mowery '06 '11L

Kate Lester Mowery is an associate at the Delaware law firm, Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A., working in the practice areas of complex commercial litigation, products liability, trade secrets and intellectual property. Her practice encompasses actions in the Delaware state courts and the District Court of Delaware. Kate is involved with the Federal Bar Association, Delaware State Bar Association and the Rodney Inns of Court. She completed the District Court of Delaware’s Federal Trial Practice Seminar in 2015. She also serves as Vice President of Membership with the Junior League of Wilmington and is on the Alumni Board of her high school, Wilmington Friends School.

Mary Caitlin Ray '09 '12L

Ms. Ray is a 2009 graduate and majored in International Politics and Chinese. During her time at Washington and Lee, she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, Kathekon, and Students for Choice. During her junior year, she studied Chinese and Middle Eastern Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Over the summer, she interned in the Office of the Chief Counsel of the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington, DC.

J.R. Smith '91

J.R. graduated from Washington and Lee in 1991 after majoring in Journalism and East Asian Studies (Japanese). He spent three years in Japan post-graduation before returning to graduate from the University of Richmond School of Law in 1997. After graduation, J.R. clerked for W&L alum David H. Adams in Norfolk, Virginia, a retired federal bankruptcy judge. He then joined Hunton & Williams in Richmond, Virginia, where he remains a partner today. As a H&W lawyer, J.R. has lived and/or worked in over 40 countries throughout the world, including spending three years opening and managing a new office for his law firm in Tokyo from 2011 to 2014. His legal practice involves corporate finance, infrastructure development, restructuring and commercial litigation.

Samuel T. Wilmoth '09

Sam Wilmoth is a 2009 graduate and was a European History major. While at W&L, he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order, served as a History Department peer tutor, and participated in the English department's creative writing program. One of his favorite W&L experiences was the 2008 spring term trip to Italy with Professors Alex Brown and Rebecca Benefiel for a course in Pompeii and Rome. Following graduation, Sam stayed in Lexington to help James Dick run the 2009 Appalachian Adventure pre-orientation program.

Philip Yoon, Esquire, '04L

Mr. Yoon is the Chief Staff Attorney for the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, one of the busiest appellate courts in the country. The Chief Staff Attorney oversees the Superior Court's Central Legal Staff, which is responsible for monitoring and resolving the over 8,000 appeals and 12,000 motions filed with the Superior Court every year, addresses questions posited by the Court's 20 Judges, and prepares the en banc session of the Court. Mr. Yoon has offices in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh, and is based in Philadelphia.