When Larry Rice hired me back in March of last year, I asked him, “What will I have an opportunity to learn from you while I clerk, and how will that help me transition from student to an attorney?” He quickly assured me that clerking at his office will prepare me to transition as seamlessly as possible, and that his clerks are provided with endless opportunities to learn and observe meetings, mediations, hearings, trials, and even appeals. During my first few months, I often thought ahead about how what I was doing at that exact moment would help me become a more efficient and competent attorney. Little did I know, though, that the day to day habits I honed while working with Larry Rice of being prepared, thoroughly researching arguments, and putting my all into each project would culminate and lead me to have one of the most memorable and exciting experiences of my entire law school career.
After I made the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law National Moot Court Team, Larry sat me down and said, “If you want to be really good, you need to focus, be prepared, and give it all you’ve got.” That’s exactly what I tried to do. After spending 40 hours a week practicing the entire month of November, our entire plan changed when we lost our swing teammate. Because of our hard work and preparedness, however, my other teammate and I already knew the opposing arguments and were ready to head to the Regional Competition in Knoxville, just the two of us. After beating Mississippi College, Louisiana State University, and the University of Tennessee, we had the opportunity to argue in front of Justice Wade of the Tennessee Supreme Court. In a minor panic attack before the final round, I remembered Larry’s advice and was able to revel in the opportunity rather than be intimidated by it. Presenting an appellate argument to Justice Wade and engaging in conversation with him regarding the state of the law is an experience I will never forget.
As my teammate and I prepare to compete against the Top 44 Moot Court teams in the nation in New York City this February (all expense paid trip- thanks Cecil C.!), I can practice with peace of mind, knowing that I have a competitive advantage over them all- I am a clerk for Larry Rice. Win or lose, I walk away with a boss that encourages me in my academic endeavors, prepares me for success in law school, and provides opportunities that will allow me to be as prepared as possible for when I enter into the legal field.