Inside-the-beltway internship yields great experiences

Career Center History
April 10, 2024

During a fascinating summer internship for Washington, D.C., law firm Wilkinson Stekloff LLP, history major Jay Jackson ’25 traveled to California to assist in one of the largest cases in American history.

We asked Jackson to share his summer internship story with us.

How did you land this internship opportunity?

I discovered this internship through a Denison friend. We were discussing what we wanted to do after graduation, and he mentioned that his mother was a lawyer. I reached out to her and her firm, and they offered me the legal internship position.

The Knowlton Center was extremely helpful throughout the process, assisting me with interview preparation and editing my resume and cover letter to ensure I was ready for the process.

What was your day-to-day experience as a paralegal intern?

I managed several different cases directly with the paralegal team, partners, and associates of the firm. I had hands-on legal experience related to the assigned casework, such as managing spreadsheets, conducting research, gathering and assembling materials used in depositions and court, going to trial, and working in an extremely high-stakes environment.

What were some memorable parts of the experience that you weren’t expecting at the start?

One of the highlights was the opportunity to attend and work on one of the largest trials in American history. In the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, the Federal Trade Commission sued Microsoft Corp. and Activision Blizzard, Inc.

The FTC filed a federal lawsuit to halt Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, but after many long days and sleepless nights, the judge denied the FTC motion. I worked a lot, and this was a great experience.

I got to see firsthand the long hours, early mornings, late nights, and stressful days during the trial. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to participate in. I am extremely grateful that the firm trusted me enough to let me work the trial.

Did you need to use your history major skills and ways of thinking?

At first, I was not sure where the connection would come from, but it was very apparent that the skills I have learned through my history classes have helped me a lot. I had to conduct extensive research, gather evidence, and analyze sources. I also had to do a lot of reading to keep up with where each case was at the time.

A few of the attorneys were also history majors and mentioned the skills they used, such as critical thinking and being able to ask the questions of why and how behind an event.

How did your experience at the law firm shape your thoughts about career plans?

My internship experience helped me confirm that I want to go to law school and pursue a career in law. I am still figuring out what specifically in law I want to do, and I have time to do that. But even after all the long nights I worked, I enjoyed the work I did this summer and still want to continue exploring a career in law.

Besides the FTC case and getting to go to the White House, are there other favorite experiences you’d like to share?

The individuals I worked with every day welcomed me right away and were open to talking to me over coffee about potential legal careers. They all told me to get in touch with them if I ever needed anything, and they would be happy to assist. And they kept their word. I have asked several people I have worked with for advice and assistance, and they have all been eager to help, which means a lot to me.

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