Robert Vega, Director FAC 18 / 2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200 78712-1508 • 512-471-7900
The Martinez-Jones Law Firm, PLLC.
Spring 2011 Site ReviewPosition: Legal Intern
Student: English Senior
First, I should preface my discussion with the following: I obtained my internship through Minority Women Pursing Law. It is an internship offered only to members of the organization. Nevertheless, there are plenty of lawyers in the Austin area that have their own private practice. Anyone interested in law or in owning his or her own firm is highly encouraged to contact one of these lawyers.
This spring I interned with The Martinez-Jones Law Firm. My supervisor was Aurora Martinez-Jones. I was very fortunate to work with Aurora. She always made herself available to answer my questions whether in person, over the phone, or through email. Furthermore, her patient nature made me feel comfortable asking questions. This is very important. Ideally, you want to work with someone you are comfortable with. Also, you want to work with someone that understands from the beginning that you are not a law student; therefore, you will likely need additional instruction. In addition, Aurora was very open about her practice and her experience as a law student and lawyer. For example, she shared some of her firm’s financial information, as well as her experience with paying off loans and opening a business (yes, owning a firm is like owning a business). This allowed me to see both the positives and negatives of attending law school, becoming a lawyer, and owning a firm. Keep in mind that not all lawyers may be as open with their firm’s finances let alone their personal finances. Nevertheless, you want someone who will be honest about the legal profession and someone who will use their knowledge and experience to help guide you on your path.
There was no typical day. Normally, I came to the office and sat at my computer working on assignments. While some projects did carry over, most of the time I completed them in a single day so that there was something new for me to work on each time I came to the office. My projects varied depending on the case. For example, for Child Protective Services (CPS) cases I edited answers, which are legal answers to lawsuits. For personal injury cases, I interviewed clients to obtain their account of what happened the day of their accident. The information gathered from this interview, police reports, and medical reports was then used to create a narrative and, eventually, a demand that would be sent to insurance companies. In all cases, I was responsible for completing my assignments by their deadline (my supervisor usually gave me a week) and ensuring all documents were grammatically and factually correct. Finally, I attended court hearings to gain courtroom experience. Most of what I did was take notes to be used as reference during and after the proceedings.