Summer Experience: Jake Walker ’22L During his summer position in the DC office of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton, Jake Walker '22 did it all, and came away with a job offer.
Jake Walker attended the University of Alabama for his undergraduate degree. Prior to law school, he worked as a special education paraprofessional in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
What did you do for work this summer?
This summer I worked as a summer associate at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton in their Washington D.C. Office. Sheppard Mullin is a full-service law firm, so I worked on projects concerning several different practice areas.
How did you find/get this position?
I discovered the firm through the mentorship of W&L’s faculty and career services team. When the On Campus Interview (OCI) program opened its D.C. regional interviews, I applied to the firm. After two rounds of interviews, I accepted the position.
Describe your work experience.
I had a phenomenal summer at Sheppard Mullin. Instead of conducting a completely virtual summer associate program, Sheppard’s D.C. Office offered a hybrid model to its summer associates. The first four weeks of the program were virtual, and the final six weeks were in‑person. During the virtual phase of the program, I worked on pro-bono assignments concerning the conservation of endangered sea turtles. The D.C. Office held virtual events (including a virtual escape room!) that connected me to other summer associates and attorneys within the firm. During the in-person phase of the program, I received assignments from several different practice areas, including: Antitrust, Government Contracts, International Trade, Pro Bono, and White Collar Crime. I observed an in-person hearing in federal district court, and I took notes during several client interviews across practice groups. The D.C. Office held some great in-person events, including a Nationals Game and rooftop dinners. As a bookend to the program, the D.C Office competed against the New York Office in a mock trial held by Sheppard Mullin attorneys.
What were some skills you developed this summer?
Most of the substantive work I did required researching and writing about discreet issues within a broader area of law, and I am a better researcher and writer because of my summer experience. I also received some insight in a lawyer’s interpersonal skills after observing client interviews and practice group meetings.
What surprised you about the work you did this summer?
The accessibility of the partners and associates. Most of my assigned work came directly from the partners, and they took the time to explain the assignment, why it was important, and give feedback to my work. I frequently got coffee and lunch with attorneys in the firm and discussed their area of practice, life in the firm, and the life of a lawyer generally.
What was your favorite aspect of this summer work experience?
My favorite experience was attending federal district court with a partner. He gave me insight into how he approached the hearing and general advice on how to conduct myself in a courtroom. It was my first time inside federal court!
Has this experience helped you figure out post graduate plans, and if so, how?
I received and accepted an offer to return to Sheppard Mullin after graduation.