Clerking at Rice Law: by Chelsea Conn

When I first learned that I would be a clerk at Rice, Amundsen & Caperton, I knew that this position would offer a wide variety of experiences in the legal field. I never knew, however, that being a clerk at a law firm could teach me more about legal procedure and practice than I had learned in my first year of law school. Mr. Rice makes certain that the clerks witness and learn from every thing that goes on in the firm. We have been able to accompany Mr. Rice to court on several occasions to witness the result of motions or petitions we have drafted.

The legal community is very different than what I had anticipated. There are so many things that law school can not possibly prepare us for and having the opportunity to get real world experience is exciting.
Some of our day to day duties include drafting. We have been given drafting assignments that range between drafting a letter for opposing counsel to drafting a motion or order for the court. Before drafting anything, we will sit with Mr. Rice or an associate at the firm and go over what each and every document should contain. I think that one of the best learning experiences so far is being able to work at improving my legal writing abilities through drafting legal documents for review. However, I think the most important thing I have learned is how essential it is to have a mastery of the Tennessee Rules of Court. The Tennessee Rules act as a strategic guide for attorneys and I never realized how important the Rules could be in a case. By not only memorizing the rules but also understanding them, an attorney can make or break a case.

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