NEW YORK – The most seminal experience I have had since starting as a summer was attending a court hearing. I arrived at the courtroom early, excited for my first experience in court. I sat behind the wooden desk where the Weil team would carefully arrange stacks of meticulously annotated papers and binders. In law school, so much time is spent studying and discussing cases in the abstract that it is easy to lose sight of the purpose and reality of the judicial process. However, once I heard, “All rise,” and the judge entered the room, my studies in law school gained new perspective.
I had the opportunity to watch a Weil lawyer present an argument and deftly respond to the judge’s probing questions on the fly, demonstrating a complete mastery of every detail of the client’s case. A sticking point in the case prompted a recess filled with negotiations between the two sides. During those negotiations I witnessed the dynamic way the team of partners and associates worked together to resolve issues. Once the negotiations began, the entire Weil team flew into action, referencing highlighted and earmarked versions of documents, furiously typing on computers, and communicating with each other in hushed voices until an agreement was reached.
Overall the experience was fascinating. I got to see lawyers in action and watched the law being formed before my very eyes. I felt lucky to witness a process that is so essential to the operation and existence of our country. It was humbling and inspiring to reflect on the idea that the opinion in this case may be cited as precedent for years to come and has a true role in shaping the law in this country. What I learned on Tuesday you cannot learn in a classroom. I learned how to remain calm under scrutiny and pressure, how to work efficiently as a team and how to leverage the many skills represented on a team. Moreover, I witnessed the judge’s reasoning in action which I believe will help me understand case law on a deeper level. As an observer, I was blown away by the importance of what happened in that courtroom and I cannot wait to play a more active role in the process.