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Summer Connection Series: Students Find Opportunities to Strengthen Legal Skills

In response to the challenges posed by COVID-19 on summer employment opportunities, Pepperdine Caruso Law has recently implemented several programs to assist current students and recent graduates in enhancing their legal skills and launching their careers.

Career Development Office
In July, the Career Development Office is offering a four-part summer practicum series designed to enhance students' legal skills. Whether students have a position lined up this summer or not, the series will be a valuable way for students to further their practical legal skills and to demonstrate to employers their dedication to legal work. Each session will be taught by a panel of practitioners with experience in specific areas. Full completion of the course will enable students to add practical skills learned and practiced on their resumes. For students who are interested in participating, please enroll by completing this form by July 5.

Summer Research Assistant Program
The School of Law also greatly expanded the summer research assistant program this year to give more students and recent graduates the opportunity to work with faculty members on research projects. Students are gaining insight into current issues in the law in areas such as emerging technologies, digital privacy, advertising regulations, discrimination and harassment in conduct related to the practice of law, consitutional law, and the current Supreme Court docket.

Alumni Support Program for Students
Pepperdine Caruso Law alumna and adjunct professor Zna Houston (JD '87) has started an alumni support program for students who would like to speak to an alumnus during this challenging time. To date, 29 Pepperdine Caruso Law students have been paired with alumni from the Board of Advisors and Dean's Council as a way to obtain advice and encouragement. Students who wish to participate may contact Director of Alumni Relations Jessie Fahy at jessie.fahy@pepperdine.edu. Houston will be teaching Employment Discrimination Law to juris doctor students in the fall.

Student Highlights

Sally Amezquita found an internship position this summer with Christian Legal Aid of Los Angeles (CLA-LA) along with her law school colleagues Anita Marks and Brad Greenman. Sally is currently helping to update the Christian Legal Aid law manual that is used as a reference guide when assisting clients, including topics such as criminal, housing, and family law. Sally is also working on a policy proposal paper about the justice gap that exists between the supply of legal aid and the need for help among low and very low income clients across Los Angeles County. In addition to research and writing, Sally is interviewing clients, identifying their legal issues, and helping serve their needs. CLA-LA also offers optional spiritual assistance and prayer to interested clients.

Caroline Clouse is working this summer on international justice projects through the Sudreau Global Justice Institute. Caroline is currently assigned to work with two Supreme Court Justices in Ghana. She is also working with Willow International, a group that combats human trafficking in Uganda. Caroline had originally planned to travel to Uganda this summer, however, when flights over Africa were prohibited, the Sudreau Global Justice Institute helped Caroline facilitate working for Willow International in a remote format and also found opportunities for her to assist in other areas of Africa with global justice projects.

Ashley Jones is a research assistant at the Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Law. She is also the 2020-2021 Student Board Chair at the Palmer Center, taking her new role into action this summer by creating plans to increase opportunities for Palmer Fellow students and Palmer alumni affected by the recession. This being Ashley's second recession, the advice she would give to current law students is to keep networking and to utilize LinkedIn as a way to connect with attorneys or other professionals in careers of interest. "Be patient with job or internship opportunities and keep networking and applying to a broad range of opportunities," she says. "Even though things are difficult, we are all privileged to be law students at a beautiful school in Malibu, so take time to reflect and be grateful for where you are in your law school journey, because you have already achieved so much and will continue to do great things."