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Sep 1, 2016

Law students share their Legal Practice internship experience at Holand & Knight

Angie and Imani together with the Namibian prime minister

Upon the completion of their third year, during the long academic break, it is a requirement for the Strathmore Law School students to undertake an internship in the profession for a period of 3 months.


Following this requirement, two students for the current fourth year, Imani Jaoko and Angela Mukora, had the opportunity to carry out their internship at Washington DC in the United States of America. They had the privilege to work at the prestigious law firm known as Holland & Knight and were very excited to partake in this adventure.


(Q1) How did you learn about this internship?


Imani: A year prior (June 2015), the Dean of our law school, Dr. Luis Franceschi, had been on a tour of the US and had visited this particular law firm. When he returned and we were catching up on his trip, he mentioned that Holland & Knight was interested in having interns from our law school. In December of that year, after having thought about it and discussed with my parents, I approached the Dr. Franceschi to let him know that I was interested. I gave him my CV and he forwarded it to the law firm who then offered me the position.


Angela: I had a keen eye on doing an internship abroad. Luckily, Dr. Franceschi informed me of this opportunity and  my interest was further fueled by Nyabura Wagema, a graduate from the law school who had also done her internship at the same law firm. 


Holland & Knight is one of the top law firms in the United States housing over 1200 lawyers. It has over 27 offices including offices in London, Mexico City and Bogota. In the United States the firm has offices in various cities. The students carried out their internship in the Washington DC office. The DC office specializes in various fields of the law. This provided the students with an opportunity to work in diverse areas of the law and to put into practice what they had learned.

 

(Q2) What was it like working in such a big law firm?

 

Imani: It was very exciting to work there. I had the opportunity to work and live in a different city and country, which made it even more appealing. While the firm was very large, we primarily worked with a group of 15 lawyers which meant that it was not too overwhelming. The work was also stimulating and engaging and I was able to learn a lot from working there.


Angela: It was a very good experience. Despite it being a very big law firm, they really focused on mentorship. I did projects that I had never worked on before and this gave me some experience in these areas.

 

The students not only experienced another legal system but also interacted with fellow interns from other universities around the world. The students worked in the International Trade and Cross Border Group and their duties included legal research and writing projects, contract analysis and review, attending client meetings and writing legal briefs and memos among other tasks.

 

It was not all work, the students also managed to experience the American culture in its fullest from attending concerts, visiting museums, going to the aquarium, going to theme parks and visiting nearby cities like New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Baltimore.  

 

(Q3) What was your best experience?

 

Imani: My best experience in terms of working there was the varied projects I got to work on, many that I do not think I would have the chance to work on if I worked in Nairobi; as well as working with my direct supervisor who was very patient and knowledgeable and made the experience much better. In terms of the culture, I got to go for a Beyoncé concert which was great (laughing).


Angela: My entire experience in the USA was out of this world. I experienced a culture I had never experienced, made life-long friends, and saw places I appreciate so much more now, like New York. I can't really pinpoint which experience was the best for me, but I had a particular moment somewhere in the middle of jumping up and down to Viva la Vida as Chris Martin of Coldplay was performing it on my last Saturday in the USA, which was simply euphoric. I just burst into tears because it suddenly hit me, how blessed I had been to have this whole experience. I will carry these memories with me my entire life.

Contact Details

Madaraka Estate
Ole Sangale Road, PO Box 59857,
00200 City Square
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 0703-034000, 0703-034200

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