By Alex Gill
I recalled a sense of panic setting in, as an associate at my summer internship in Brazil asked me to research interlocutory appeals process in U.S. federal courts.
I thought, “What is an interlocutory appeal?” Did I make a huge mistake making the trip to Brazil?
After the initial shock, I recalled my first-year civil procedure class, and I was able to present coherent research and argument based on the rules of procedure to the benefit of the client. It bolstered my confidence during the first assignment of my month-long internship in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and helped calm my apprehension.
I was apprehensive about the experience for a number of reasons. I was requesting a month away from my full time job in Massachusetts state government to go to a country where I barely spoke the language. But I wanted the experience of working in a completely different culture—and I got it. While I wasn’t fluent, I could understand some Portuguese. Moreover, my English skills were in high demand at the firm, which had a large client base of American companies seeking to incorporate in Brazil.
The chance to work and live abroad even for a short period of time, especially for a night student, will stand out as one of the highlights of my law school career. If given the opportunity to make the decision to go to a foreign country, I would make the same choice without having to consider it.
Alex Gill JD’17 is an evening student and works full-time at Massachusetts Department of Agriculture, deputy chief fiscal officer. He won the Clark Appellate Moot Court Competition in 2016.