Vault is excited to introduce the two law interns who have virtually joined our team for the summer: Ashley Reed and Brian Zhang! During the upcoming weeks, our interns will have the opportunity to work closely with Vault Law’s editorial team, creating content for our site, collaborating on new content ideas, contributing to Vault’s social media channels, and blogging. Their firsthand insight on law school, journal work, legal job interviews, and bar exam prep, as well as their experience attending law school during COVID-19, will be especially valuable for our law student readers. Welcome to the team, Ashley and Brian!
Ashley Reed received her law degree from Appalachian School of Law, and her B.S. from Marymount University. Prior to joining Vault, Ashley clerked with different government agencies and a private criminal law firm. Read Ashley’s first blog article, How to Build a Strong Professional Presence Online, here!
Brian Zhang is pursuing his J.D. at the University of California, Davis School of Law and received his B.S. from UCLA. Prior to joining Vault, he clerked at a law firm and interned with in-house counsel at a semiconductor company. Read Brian’s first blog article, Making the Most of Your Summer During the Coronavirus Pandemic: 5 Tips for Law Students, here!
What drew you to the position at Vault?
Ashley: I have always been interested in legal journalism so Vault seemed like a perfect match for me! My attention was drawn to Vault because I wanted to be part of a team that values helping others in the legal field.
Brian: It's an interesting and unique way for a law student to utilize their experience and expand upon their skills.
As a recent graduate/current law student, what is your best piece of advice for students who will be starting their law school careers this fall?
Ashley: Trust yourself. There have been many times that I second-guessed myself because someone else thought they had the right answer but it turned out that I was correct all along. This piece of advice applies to both the classroom and real life. Also, buy The Bluebook and tab the sections. You'll thank yourself later!
Brian: Be open-minded about what you do or don't want to do with your law degree. Don't be afraid to branch out, try things, and change your mind throughout your time at law school. You might discover that you actually really dislike what you thought was your dream practice area or that you're completely fascinated by an area you never thought you cared about.
Specifically, do you have any tips for law students on succeeding at “virtual” law school? Was there anything that helped make the transition easier for you?
Ashley: Create and stick to a schedule as much as possible. It also helps to disable texting on your computer and place your phone somewhere out of sight.
Brian: Pretend you cannot rewind or re-watch your classes, to avoid finding yourself zoning out and wasting time trying to fill in what you missed. Focus and pay attention as you would in an in-person class and you will thank yourself later. Make sure you have a good study space set up with minimal distractions.
What are your favorite hobbies outside of the law?
Ashley: Yoga and binge-watching any show that involves Mindy Kaling.
Brian: My favorite activities include traveling, live music, and karaoke. As for interests, I'm into tech, cars, and interior design.
We're happy to have you both on the team!
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Virtual internships are new for all of us, which can make them feel intimidating. Part of the reason people do internships is to learn about the typical “day in the life” in one’s desired industry, but, well, days haven’t really been “typical” since the start of the pandemic.
“When a door closes another door should open, but if it doesn’t then go in through the window. ”
If you’re a law student who will participate in a virtual summer program, this advice has become unexpectedly apt; your screen will now be your entry to the law firm world.
As we reviewed earlier, many attorneys are behind technologically and reticent to adopt new tech tools, despite (1) ABA recommendations to stay abreast of relevant technology, (2) sophisticated clients who expect tech proficiency in their attorneys, and (3) competitors like alternative legal service providers (ALSPs) using technology to provide legal support work at lower costs. The bottom line is that law firms and lawyers need to keep current with technology because being deficient means losing business—or going out of business.