the lantern wrote:I'll just say that as long as you haven't been sleeping through the entirety of your law school career up until your 2L summer, you are more than capable of handling a light caseload. By that time, I had already taken trial advocacy, a year long clinic, and worked as an intern at the PD writing motions/misdo appeals. You might feel like you don't know what you're doing, but you do. It isn't that hard, and claiming that 2L interns are "barely competent," for example, is just not the case for most. To be honest, I think a lot of the writing the interns do is much better than the actual PDs, mostly because you have more time to spend on it.
I agree that 2L motions and appeals are just as good as actual PDs, if not better. If you put a PD's motion next to an intern's motion, you probably couldn't tell them apart. And I'm not suggesting that clients represented by 2Ls are getting screwed over.
But when it comes to court appearances, procedural stuff, and other things you just can't learn in law school (how to negotiate pleas, handling clients, keeping cool when the judge seems annoyed and the prosecution is aggressive, knowing what a "good" plea deal looks like, coping with unexpected witness testimony, etc), you need experience.
Its not a matter of grades or paying attention in school. Law school teaches you issue spotting, how to read opinions, legal analysis, and other behind the scenes stuff. It doesn't teach you the nitty-gritty of representation or the way random GDC judge number 275 handles his courtroom.
I'm not saying that a 2L summer intern will necessarily get worse outcomes for the client than a assistant PD. But there's a reason we have a bar exam, a reason why no jurisdiction in the country lets students handle their own caseload unsupervised, and a reason why they call it "lawl school".
2L summers are capable of representing clients, but the whole point of the summer program is that they're still learning and need constant supervision.