Saturday, June 4, 2022

CLEA Outstanding Student Award: UC Davis's Kylie Chan

CLEA Outstanding Externship Student Award: Kylie Chan of the UC Davis School of Law

“I think it is safe to say that this externship did in fact change the course of my life. It allowed me to try new things, to develop my interests, to practice my professional skills, to make new friends, to join a community, and to figure out exactly what kind of lawyer I want to be.”

So wrote Kylie Chan, Class of 2023, UC Davis School of Law, in her last journal as she finished a yearlong externship with the Sacramento District Attorney’s Office. Kylie was considering international law, but a summer at this office persuaded her otherwise.

Her field work is excellent. Her supervisor, Sheri Greco, commented “Kylie has consistently sought out challenging assignments, particularly in-court appearances, that would contribute to her professional growth. The attorneys with whom she has worked directly have noted her high level of professionalism, her eagerness to take and act on feedback, and her increasing confidence in her work. She has been an outstanding and valuable extern.”

Her small section leader, Netania Moore, wrote, “Not only was Kylie kind and empathetic towards her classmates’ successes and hardships, but she was engaging and attentive in trying to come up with solutions and helpful comments. Kylie approached our discussions with a thoughtfulness and sincerity that was not always easy when discussing sometimes abstract concepts. Each time we met it was clear that she did not abandon the prior small group discussions but rather leaned into her self-reflection to get the most out of her externship. This ability to self-reflect and act based on her self-reflection was one of Kylie’s strong suits.”

The seminar emphasizes self-direction, self-assessment, and “getting outside of one’s comfort zone.” After her very first court appearance, Kylie wrote, “Once I logged on to Zoom to access the virtual courtroom, I realized that I was the least experienced person at the hearings…. This was incredibly intimidating, as I felt like I had been thrown into the deep end of a swimming pool with a bunch of Olympic swimmers (First Court Appearance Fall 2021). In Spring 2022, she was able to say, “But now that I’ve done many of them, I’m not so scared anymore.”

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