During the summer following my 1L year I had the privilege of working as an intern for United States District Judge Beth Bloom. Judge Bloom is one of the kindest, most caring, brilliant and inspiring women and I cannot rave enough about the opportunity I had to learn from her. “Are we learning?”, “What did you learn today?”, and “What can I do to help you learn more?” were Judge Bloom’s three favorite questions for her summer interns.
Judge Bloom works out of both the Fort Lauderdale and Miami federal courthouses. Depending on what might be scheduled on a given day, we could be working in either one or both locations. Having a change of scenery with different courthouses, different judges and different interns was extra fun.
As interns we received assignments from our supervising law clerks and were encouraged to go to all of Judge Bloom’s hearings, trials, and sentencings. Throughout the summer I completed memos and draft orders for six motions to dismiss, two Daubert motions and a motion for summary judgment. For one of the motions to dismiss, I even got to request a hearing and was allowed to sit in the Law Clerk/Courtroom Deputy chair since I had done the research and had discussed it with Judge Bloom prior to her ruling from the bench.
On top of the duties that come with being a United States District Judge, Judge Bloom spent every single day trying to make sure her interns were able to experience and learn as much about the legal system as possible. She believed that the best way to learn was through hands-on experience as well as by experiencing as much of the legal world inside and outside of the courthouse. She took us with her to a luncheon where she spoke to the North Broward Bar Association, to the Federal Bar’s Summer Associate Law Day, and to a Naturalization Ceremony she presided over. At the Naturalization Ceremony I was brought to tears by the stories of United States immigrants who had been through it all just to achieve their dreams of becoming United States citizens.
We watched several of Judge Bloom’s cases and those of other U.S. District judges as well as proceedings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, family court, domestic violence court, and even a mob murder trial. I watched the detainment of twenty-seven members of the Latin Kings and the sentencing of two Al-Qaeda terrorists to whom Judge Bloom sentenced the maximum stating, “You are a terrorist, evil in nature and evil in your deeds.” We also got to go on a tour of Miami’s Federal Detention Center and the women’s prison in Homestead, Florida where we were able to see what goes on in criminal cases outside the walls of the courthouse before and after detainment, bond hearings and sentencings.
Even with all this, Judge Bloom planned special events for us. She and her law clerks also helped us plan a dessert reception, a sweet meet, and movie nights to get to know other judges, law clerks and interns in each courthouse. We had the dessert reception early in the summer and every other Tuesday night we invited interns to join us in watching law-related movies such as Paper Chase, Twelve Angry Men, Run Away Jury and My Cousin Vinny. We also had a sweet meet where we brought in Judge Robin Rosenbaum, United States Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
As you can see, I could go on forever about my amazing experience but I suggest taking the time to work for a judge at some point during your law school career. Not only will you learn about the law and work on real cases, but many judges make it their mission to help you learn and to show you as much as possible both inside and outside of their courtroom and chambers.