2016 Law School Students Complete Their Internships

Sep 12, 2016
Lisa Oakley

Law school students intern with Trustees for Alaska each summer. They provide critical legal support at the same time as they gain valuable on the ground legal experience. Two of our 2016 summer interns provided us with the story of their summer in Alaska:

Jaclyn Brass (University of Colorado)

Intern Jaclyn Brass hiked up to the Harding Ice Field in Kenai Fjords National Park.

Intern Jaclyn Brass hiked up to the Harding Ice Field in Kenai Fjords National Park.

Interning for Trustees for Alaska was everything I hoped it would be and more. I was able to dig into several new subjects and get a taste for what a career in public interest environmental law might look like. I have learned so much about the law, but also about how to research more efficiently and write more clearly. The feedback was detailed and helpful on both the substantive and organizational fronts. Beyond that, the entire office is passionate, caring and willing to share their knowledge and opinions. Weekly brown bag lunches gave the interns a taste for what Trustees does and what issues plague Alaska. I really valued the ability to get general perspective on Alaskan issues while also digging deep into a few areas.
Living in Anchorage has been an inspiring experience. Like so many people I’ve met, I came to Alaska this summer thinking it would be my one chance to explore the last frontier, but I love it so much I’m strongly considering finding a way to return down the road. Anchorage has a fantastic mix of urban and rural. There is a plethora of dining opportunities, breweries, and fun touristy activities, but you are literally minutes away from expanses of wilderness too big to comprehend. I spent time in Seward, Girdwood, and Talkeetna, went on hands-down the most beautiful hikes ever, and saw more wildlife and wildflowers than I can count. I can’t wait to come back because there is simply too much to explore in one summer.

Esack Francis Grueskin (University of Oregon School of Law)

Intern Esack Grueskin kayaking on Byers Lake in Denali State Park.

Intern Esack Grueskin kayaking on Byers Lake in Denali State Park.

In the summer following my first year of law school, I did virtually no legal work. The vacation was refreshing, but it didn’t allow me to confirm whether legal work was rewarding or interesting to me. My summer working for Trustees, therefore, was pivotal to shaping my future. It was my first chance to experience the work that led me to law school in the first place.
My internship focused on legal research and writing. That was unsurprising; research and writing are the backbone of litigation, but I’d like to highlight the most important thing Trustees taught me: we can win. Law school can squeeze the optimism right out of you, and it was starting to squeeze it out of me. At the risk of sounding dramatic, I’d say my summer with Trustees changed my entire law school experience. I’ve known for some time now how hard public interest attorneys have to work, but now I know the hard work pays off. The attorneys at Trustees are incredible, tireless, and dedicated. Each of them are my new role models. My only hope is that one day I can be as effective as they are. Everything I learned this summer put me well on my way, so thank you, Trustees for Alaska, for the best summer internship I could have hoped for.

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