In a new Student Lawyer article, Louisa Heiny, an adjunct professor at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, discusses why she requires the judicial interns who take her judicial process class to attend five different court hearings. From observing the importance of professionalism before the bench, to being introduced to new practice areas, to observing the lives of their future clients, Heiny believes the experience makes a “big impression” on students.
Students often commented on the professionalism (or lack thereof). Heiny noted, “It’s easy for me to say in class that they should show up on time or dress appropriately. But when they see a lawyer on the phone during a hearing or when they see judges taking the bench late, it makes a huge impact on them.”
Another “common reaction is that they do or do not want to work in a particular area of law,” she told the magazine, adding that students are often intrigued by areas they hadn’t previously considered, and decide to enroll in a class or clinic in that area.
Heiny also said that the experience often introduces students to their future clients’ lives. “They see what poverty really looks lies—for instance, when people wear their best sweatpants to court because that’s all they have.”
The article, “An Out-of-Classroom Experience,” appears in the January 2015 issue of Student Lawyer magazine. It is available online here.