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Pictured l-r: The Honorable W. Allan Sharrett (L’77) of the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court, Gaby Brill (L’22), and law clerk David Hart (L’19).

by Gaby Brill (L’22)

The path to my 1L judicial internship began with a rejection email after an interview with another court. I received the disappointing news in the middle of the Super Bowl, and, as anyone would be, was pretty bummed. However, I took the time to respond, and it was the best thing I ever did.

When I received the rejection email, hitting delete and trying to cleanse myself of the negative energy was my first instinct. To overcome these initial feelings of sadness, I began to think of my application and interview as a networking opportunity rather than an isolated incident. I respected the Judge I had interviewed with and genuinely enjoyed my interview. So, I responded to thank him for his time, advice, and insights he had given me.

As a result of my reply, the Judge went out of his way to refer me to a Judge of another nearby Virginia Circuit with whom he had a personal relationship. I eventually interviewed with the three Judges of Virginia’s Sixth Judicial Circuit and went on to have a wonderful six-week experience there. Had I not taken the time to respond to a rejection, my 1L summer experience as I know it would not have existed. Additionally, the opportunity I received was not one that was ever posted in Symplicity. Were it not for a Judge’s referral, I would not have had the slightest clue of how to seek it out on my own.

We are all well aware that the legal market is a competitive one. Taking the time to respond to a rejection is not something every applicant will do. As a result, it may just lead to another unadvertised opportunity. Having this experience has definitely cemented in my mind that it is well worth my time to reply to every rejection correspondence I receive for the rest of my career. Perhaps, my next step will be to obtain the gumption to ask for interview feedback so that I can continue improving myself going forward!