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Learning the Material 3L Ashley Duckworth was exposed to a new area of the law during her summer internship with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the Division of Corporate Finance in Washington, D.C.

Ashley Duckworth is a third-year law student. She was born and raised in Greeneville, TN and attended undergrad at Wofford College, where she majored in Government and minored in History. At W&L Law, she is a Burks Scholar, Co-President of the Tax Law Society, a Law Ambassador, and a student worker at the Tech Desk. After graduation, she is going to clerk for Judge Vito Bianco for one year at a Tax Court in Morristown, New Jersey, just an hour away from New York City.

duckworth-263x350 Learning the MaterialAshley Duckworth

This past summer I worked for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the Division of Corporate Finance in Washington D.C. The SEC was an agency of interest to me because of its constant engagement with complex financial instruments and the business industry. It also provided me with the option to perform more compliance-related work, which was of interest to me going into my 2L year. I applied through their USA Jobs profile and honestly felt lucky to receive an interview, and later, a job offer.

I specifically worked within the Office of Enforcement Liaison. In this position, I was able to review an Initial Public Offering (IPO) for a genomics company and draft a comment letter, review and edit enforcement recommendation memos for proper statutory interpretation, investigate shell companies’ filings to determine suitability for an enforcement referral, construct a closing checklist regarding a WKSI filing, and draft various memos regarding research I conducted for my supervisor. Most of the attorneys I worked with were more concerned with me actually learning the material and gaining experience rather than having me do basic busy-work. Because of this, I now feel confident dealing with securities law even though I took no classes on the subject prior to the summer.

At the SEC, I was able to work closely with other interns with whom I formed friendships that lasted outside of work. I was also able to become close with my supervisor and the attorneys I worked with and to really utilize the help of my mentor assigned to me by the SEC mentor program. My mentor was one of the biggest assets I had at the SEC. We met over coffee multiple times to talk about my career and revise my resume, and because of this, she helped steer me towards the clerkship position, which with the help of Dean Jarrett and Andrea Hilton in OCS, I now hold at the Tax Court.

I am looking forward to my 3L year at Washington and Lee and can go into it with a better understanding of securities law along with the possibility of a career in the field moving forward.