June 21, 2019
As part of Taylor Porter's annual summer law clerk program, our Firm hosted eight students from five law schools for the first session, including William & Mary Law School student Eleanor Gilbert and Northwestern Pritzker School of Law student Emilio Figueroa.
Under the guidance of practicing Taylor Porter attorneys and mentors, law clerks gain hands-on experience and interaction that reﬂect real life as a lawyer. The work ranges from case research to legal writing to shadowing attorneys at depositions, hearings, and oral arguments, and speaking with both Taylor Porter partners and associates one-on-one and learning about their personal experiences.
We asked both Eleanor and Emilio to share what they have learned through our summer law clerk program.
Eleanor Gilbert, William & Mary Law School 1L
Eleanor Gilbert completed her first year at William and Mary Law School in Williamsburg, VA. She is the President of the Business Law Society and is an active member of the Federalist Society. Eleanor graduated magna cum laude from LSU in 2018 with a B.S. in Accounting. Following her graduation from LSU and prior to law school, Eleanor worked in Ernst and Young’s audit practice in Dallas, serving financial services clients.
What practice area(s) are you most interested in and why? Because of my background in accounting, I am most interested in transactional and tax work. During my clerkship, I have also developed an interest in Insurance and Regulated Industries.
How has the Taylor Porter summer law clerk program helped prepare you for becoming a lawyer? My time as a Taylor Porter clerk has shown me the importance of time management and efficiency. Simultaneously managing a variety of projects in different areas is an exciting challenge.
Who are your Taylor Porter attorney mentors and what have you learned from them about the legal field that will stick with you? My mentors are Robin Toups and Sarah White. Robin did a great job of giving me the opportunity to work in various practice areas, to help me zero in on my desired career path. Sarah gave me insight on the life of an associate. She also gave me a great piece of advice: "Think about who your opposing counsel will be when choosing a practice area."
What do you like best about the TP Summer Law Clerk Program? My favorite part about my clerkship is the collegial environment at Taylor Porter. Every partner, associate, and staff member I worked with went out of his or her way to help me and, more importantly, to make me feel like a valued team member. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time and Taylor Porter, and have learned more in six weeks than I could have imagined.
Emilio Figueroa, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law 1L
Emilio Figueroa completed his second year at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. He was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, and graduated with a B.S. in Criminology and Sport Management in 2017 from Florida State University. He is a LexisNexis Student Representative, and an active member of the Black Law Students Association, Latino Law Students Association, and the Sports Law Society at Northwestern.
What practice area(s) are you most interested in and why? I am most interested in working with Mergers & Acquisitions. This practice area aligns well my skills and interests, and will provide me with opportunities to sharpen my financial and negotiating skills, learn the mechanics of how deals/transactions work, and generate innovative solutions to assist with complex client matters. Additionally, I’m also interested in working with the representation of college and university athletic departments in matters pertaining to compliance, the NCAA, conference rules and regulations, and contracts.
How has the Taylor Porter summer law clerk program helped prepare you for becoming a lawyer? During the course of the Taylor Porter Summer Law Clerk Program, I’ve had the opportunity to work on substantive projects in a variety of different areas within the law. For example, I analyzed legal agreements, assisted in the draft of an appellate brief, and researched many different issues for current transactional and litigation matters. Not only did I improve my legal research, analysis, and writing skills in such a short period of time, but I also learned how to apply these skills to real-world client matters.
Who are your Taylor Porter attorney mentors and what have you learned from them about the legal field that will stick with you? My Taylor Porter attorney mentors are Michael Walsh and Colin Peak. Michael and Colin were extremely helpful and always willing to answer my questions. Moreover, if they were unsure of an answer themselves, they knew where to find it and connected me to the right point of contact. I also appreciated how they regularly took time out of their busy schedule to check in with me. In addition to working diligently in order to produce high quality work product, I also learned that it’s imperative to build and develop positive relationships with individuals throughout my entire legal career.
What do you like best about the TP Summer Law Clerk Program? I appreciate the “office culture” best about the Taylor Porter Summer Law Clerk Program. From my first day, the people at Taylor Porter went the extra mile to make me feel welcome not only at the firm, but also while I was in Baton Rouge. I also value how Taylor Porter fosters a strong tradition of community service, which I witnessed from the Cristo Rey High School Corporate Work Study Program that Taylor Porter sponsors, and our Summer Law Clerk Volunteer Day at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. I’ve had such a wonderful and enriching experience at Taylor Porter, and I couldn’t have hoped for anything better!