SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Wofford students participating in the Pre-Law Internship Interim have sat in on depositions, watched mediations, accompanied attorneys in court, witnessed real estate closings, filed papers and witnessed legal documents. They've observed, listened and learned.
"The biggest thing I have learned from my internship and my class with professors John Fort and Dawn McQuiston is that going to law school does not teach you how to practice law," says Deanna Thomas, a junior psychology major and business minor from Boiling Springs, S.C. "In order to learn how to practice law, it is crucial to find a mentor who can spend the time teaching you to practice law."
Thomas has found that in David White and David Sereque of the White and Sereque Law Firm in Spartanburg.
"I was lucky to have found two wonderful mentors who were willing to take the time to teach me as much as they could in two short weeks," she says.
McKenzie Shearon, a first-year student majoring in government from Spartanburg, discovered the same thing with the attorneys at Harrison, White, Smith and Coggins in Spartanburg.
"From my internship, I have learned that good attorneys listen very carefully to their clients so that they can best represent them in court," says Shearon.
In addition to the two-week internship component, students in the Pre-Law Interim are introduced to the theoretical foundation of the American legal system, various ways the law and lawyering intersects with psychology, and practical aspects of life as a law student and practicing attorney. They take practice LSAT tests and learn to write a personal statement for law school admissions. They visit the South Carolina Supreme Count and the U.S. Fourth Circuit Federal Court, where they meet judges and hear oral arguments. Students also may travel to the Charleston College of Law, University of South Carolina Law School and the University of Richmond School of Law. There they have the opportunity to attend classes and presentations with faculty.
"The Wofford pre-law program and its professors are a tremendous help for students looking to go to law school," says Shearon. "The professors work hard to expose us to the different parts of applying to law school in addition to teaching us what it would be like to actually practice law. This combined approach of preparing us for getting into law school and also showing us the reality of practicing law is extremely useful for making sure a career in law is something we want to pursue."