Day One: Learning What I Signed Up For

Today was more than just exciting and stressful, explorative and fun; it was absolutely terrifying, overwhelming, and tiring. My internship, at the Office of the Attorney General, eCrimes division, is going to be one that changes my life. Beyond learning legal terms, writing case briefs, and doing research, I will have to read 50 pages a week in outside books that I will be tested on weekly. I will have to make hard deadlines for memos and briefs that I have never had experience with before. I will have to take the stairs every single day instead of the elevator, and the office is on the 9th floor, my cubicle, on the 14th. I will have to run those stairs multiple times on Tuesdays and run more distance on Thursdays and Saturdays. I will have to learn and do things that I haven’t before. And I am so ready to begin.

After small introductions, the four other new law clerks and I had a day filled with a presentation about what we would be doing for the summer, a lecture, getting our badges, filling out paperwork, receiving a presentation on software programs we would be using, walking many flights of stairs, and receiving a tour of the library.

I knew going into this internship that I would be signing up for an intensive 8-week program that was going to challenge me. But as I got off of the light-rail at the end of today, the only words I could think of to describe how I felt was exhausted and terrified. As part of the internship we are reading One L by Scott Turow, a true story of a first year at Harvard Law School. In the first 25 pages he describes how overwhelming, stress-inducing, and anxiety-filled those first few days are. And to be completely honest, I feel oddly similar right now. I have four assignments due Friday morning, a reading assignment due Wednesday, and a pre-law quiz on Wednesday; it’s day one. This is going to be quite a bit of work both physically and emotionally. I will be spending most of these next 8 weeks in libraries, cafes, and cubicles, but could not be more excited. This opportunity of a lifetime is more than I could have asked for and I plan on making the most of every minute of it. For tonight, I will try to rest and not think about the growing list of tasks. But starting tomorrow, it’s time to get to work.

Jessica Paduganan is a UC Berkeley junior studying sociology. She is interning at the California Department of Justice eCrimes unit as a Cal-in-Sacramento Fellow.