SWLAW Blog | Future Students

Summer Judicial Clerkship Grant Recipients

July 24, 2020

Congratulations to Southwestern's Summer Judicial Externship Grant Recipients

Southwestern has long understood that working as a judicial extern offers an unparalleled experience for law students and has encouraged students to apply for these excellent opportunities. We are aware that in the absence of funding, some students are unable to pursue these positions. Thus, Southwestern’s Summer Judicial Externship Grant program was created.

Congratulations to all of our outstanding students who were selected to receive a Summer Judicial Externship Grant! In this inaugural year of the program, Southwestern’s Summer Judicial Externship Grant Committee awarded seven students a $2000 grant to assist with their finances as they extern for a judge or justice this summer. The grants were made possible by the generous sponsorship proceeds received from the Annual Judges Reception on January 29th, 2020.

Honored guests at the Annual Judges Reception 2020
Esteemed guests at the Annual Judges Reception on January 29th, 2020
Image - Honorees of the Annual Judges Reception 2020
Annual Judges Reception Honorees (L to R): Judge Philip S. Gutierrez, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Justice Abbi Silver ’89, Nevada Supreme Court, Judge Scott M. Gordon '85 (Ret.), Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Senior Assistant Director of Career Services Christine Tarr who is on the Summer Judicial Externship Grant Committee expressed, "The school is very grateful to the donors who were able to provide financial support to seven judicial externs placed within the Orange County Superior Court, the United States District Court for the Central District of California, and the California 2nd District Court of Appeal through their sponsorship of the Second Annual Judges Reception."

 “The Judges Reception in January was the first time we asked for sponsors; the generosity of our sponsors allowed for the school to create this inaugural judicial grant program. The support is especially helpful in light of the pandemic the students unexpectedly are facing; the students can better focus on providing chambers with their best legal work and on growing as law students and future lawyers. "

- Senior Assistant Director of Career Services Christine Tarr, Summer Judicial Externship Grant Committee

We are proud to recognize the following Southwestern Summer Judicial Externship Grant recipients:

Image - Kyla GarciaKyla Garcia - Superior Court for Orange County

Kyla Garcia is a first-generation law student from Fresno, California. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in History and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a minor in Philosophy from UC Irvine. Kyla’s legal journey began at a young age while working with her grandmother’s immigration service. Impassioned to unite her central valley community, Kyla pursues her law degree with conviction and purpose to protect and uplift those who are more than deserving of justice.

She says...

“I am truly excited about the opportunity to advance my legal knowledge and practical lawyering skills through this externship with the Hon. Kimberly Menninger. This experience will be formative of my early law career as I am fortunate to learn from a mentor with interests similar to my own.”

Image - Laura HartmanLaura Hartman -  C.D. Cal., U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Laura is a rising 3L evening student with a bachelor’s degree in History from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. A Los Angeles native, Laura worked in marketing and advertising before transitioning to the legal field, and continued to work full time in advertising sales for her first two years in law school. Laura considers coming to Southwestern the best decision she has made in her adult life, and truly believes that it is never too late to pursue your dreams.

At Southwestern, Laura serves as an academic mentor through the Dean’s Fellow Program. She is a member of the Southwestern Inns of Court chapter, and participated in the Justice Bus traveling expungement clinic.
In her free time, Laura enjoys seeing live music, running marathons, and being a mom to her rescue cats Ollie and Pip. Laura hopes to use her law degree to help underserved communities.

She says...

"Judge Klein’s passion for her work and commitment to her community has greatly inspired me. She is a mentor to many, in particular to girls and women interested in the legal field. Judge Klein and her staff take a humanistic approach to the law, which is what solidified my desire to work in her chambers. I am looking forward to a challenging and fulfilling experience assisting with research, writing, and wherever else I am needed."

Image - Kimberly HernandezKimberly Herndandez -  C.D. Cal., U.S. District Court

Kimberly was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley by a single mother of 5 daughters. She is a first-generation college student and the first in her family to pursue law school. Her dream is to take care of her mother and provide her with a home and financial security.

Kimberly graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2017 with a double major in Chicana/o Studies and Feminist Studies. Kimberly is the Vice President for Women's Law Association, Secretary for Tax Law Society, A Dean's Fellow for the Deans Fellow Program, and a Peer Mentor for the Peer Mentor Program. She is also a summer Research Assistant for Professor Cameron.

She says...

"This summer I was fortunate to get a judicial externship under Judge Dean Pregerson. I am so grateful for this opportunity and so excited to learn and grow my legal career."

Image - Ava IssaryAva Issary - C.D. Cal., U.S. District Court

Ava is motivated and passionate about serving her Los Angeles community. She is the daughter of Iranian refugees and is currently serving as a Judicial extern at the Central District Court of California. She is currently serving as a national student director for the IABA (Iranian American Bar Association) where she serves as a bridge to connect both prospective and current law students to the bar association and the incentives they offer. Ava is most proud of Southwestern because of the rich student diversity the school is dedicates itself to.

She says...

"Being a Judicial Extern is an incredible experience that I would recommend to all law students. Being apart of chambers has granted me a judicial perspective on what distinguishes a strong argument from a weak one. Though it is difficult work, it is invaluable because it has solidified my understanding of civil procedure while simultaneously strengthening my research and legal writing skills."

Image - Melanie KhosraviMelanie Khosravi - California Court of Appeal

Melanie is a recent finalist of the school-wide intramural brief writing competition.

She is currently enrolled in the 2-year accelerated SCALE program.

After graduating from UCLA with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, she dedicated her time to clinical research in the field of Lupus Genetics at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, department of Rheumatology, and published her findings in PLOS Genetics Medical Journal. Thereafter, Melanie attended Medical School in New York City and completed her clinical years in New York and New Jersey. Through interactions with patients who had experienced medical mishaps and her observations of their vulnerability, Melanie became interested in patients’ medical-legal rights. She decided to further her studies in the legal field to advocate on behalf of patients. With strong medical and legal research and writing skills and sincere desire to serve Los Angeles county residents and vulnerable patient population, Melanie is eager to embark on her final year of law school.

She says...

"I am excited to extern at the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, for the Honorable Justice Audrey Collins. I will be engaging in extensive legal analysis of a wide variety of complex issues and enhancing my legal research and writing skills. I hope to be of value and contribute to the court to the best of my abilities."

Image - Susan LeSusan Le - Superior Court for Orange County

Susan Le is a first generation law student. Born to immigrant parents from southern Vietnam, she received her B.S. in Business Administration with a focus in International Business from California State University, Long Beach. After graduating, she gained hands on experience at The Law Offices of Kathy T. Luong in Family Law, Personal Injury, Wills and Trust, and Bankruptcy. Susan is fluent in Vietnamese and is the secretary for Intellectual Property and Arts Society (IPAS) at Southwestern. In addition, she is also a member of the Women’s Law Association and Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA).

Image - SWLAW LogoHye Jin Lee  - C.D. Cal., U.S. District Court

Hye Jin is a first-generation law student and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy of Industrial Societies from UC Berkeley. During her first year of law school, she joined BISONG and served as the Section Representative for Intellectual Property and Arts Society (IPAS).

This summer, she is serving as a Judicial Extern for the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

She says...

"Although the externship is virtual, I hope to gain first-hand insight and realistic perception of the work. I am excited to learn, improve, and collaborate with others in a practical working environment."

How to apply for a Summer Judicial Externship Grant: 

Eligible students are 2L part-time students, SCALE I students, and 1L Day students who have:

  • secured a four or five-unit (32-40 hours/week) judicial externship of at least eight weeks;
  • cleared the background check by the start of the Summer Session;
  • are not receiving a grant/award money specifically for this judicial externship from any other source (e.g., the Mexican American Bar Association Federal Judicial Externship Scholarship, but not a Southwestern institutional scholarship). 

Also, eligible students must remain in good academic standing throughout the Summer Session. 

The application consisted of a resume and a 250-word minimum statement describing why the student selected the judicial externship, expected duties, and how receiving the grant was instrumental in his or her participation.  

Application materials were reviewed by a Committee of four directors:

  • Associate Dean of Career Services Shahrzad Poormosleh,
  • Professor and Director of the Externship Program Anahid Gharakhanian,
  • Senior Assistant Director of Career Services Christine Tarr,
  • Senior Associate Director of the Externship Program Mitzie Vitela