Clinical Law Center interns reflect on summer experiences
The Notre Dame Clinical Law Center is the Law School's teaching law office. It consists of five clinics that provide free legal services to the community while enabling students to engage in the practice of law under the close supervision of expert faculty members.
Ryan Dahlquist, a third-year law student, and Regan Perrodin, a second-year law student, worked as interns at the Clinical Law Center this past summer. Below are their reflections on their experiences.
Ryan Dahlquist, Class of 2019
Working at the Notre Dame Clinical Law Center this summer was a wonderful experience. I got hands-on experience while working with real people. I worked primarily in the Tax Clinic, but I also had several cases in the Economic Justice Clinic. Professors Patrick Thomas and Judith Fox were wonderful instructors. Coming into the Clinical Law Center, I knew very little about tax and dealing with the Internal Revenue Service. Thanks to my time in the Tax Clinic, I was able to gain invaluable legal experience, and I feel much more confident interacting with clients and handling matters in front of the IRS.
Working at the Economic Justice Clinic was equally rewarding. I even got to perform a deposition, on a potential adverse party, with Professor Fox. I don’t know of many new attorneys, let alone students, who can say that. It was definitely a great experience.
Perhaps the most rewarding thing about working in the Notre Dame Clinical Law Center is seeing how relieved clients are that the IRS won’t bother them anymore. To see that I am making a difference in someone’s life is a wonderful feeling. I strongly encourage students to enroll in a clinic during the semester or to apply for a summer internship at the Clinical Law Center. It has been one of the highlights of my legal education.
Regan Perrodin, Class of 2020
My summer at the Notre Dame Clinical Law Center was very formative. Not only did I have a chance to use the technical skills that I learned in my 1L classes by writing briefs and conducting legal research, I also had the chance to work with really great lawyers. The professors at the clinic are both extremely talented lawyers and incredible teachers. I worked mainly with Professor Fox and Professor Kelly, both of whom took the time to explain things that I was unsure about while also giving me real responsibility. My time at the Clinic allowed me to gain new skills as well as grow in ones that I already had. I was able to sit in on a deposition, mediation, and numerous hearings while also remaining in contact with clients, sometimes visiting them at home.
When considering what to do for my 1L summer job, it was really important to me that I would be able to do meaningful work. My time at the Clinic absolutely met this requirement as I helped a nonprofit apply for, and obtain, 501(c)(3) status, worked with Professor Fox as she represented several tenants in frivolous eviction suits, and worked with the county treasurer to set up a payment plan so my clients would not lose their home in a tax sale. I also got to see the passion and zeal with which Professor Fox advocated for her clients and for justice generally. Overall, I believe my time at the Clinic helped me grow tremendously as a law student and as a person.