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Tai Lui Tan, one of three clerks to Judge Wood in 2004-05, says she came away from her experience a better lawyer — sharper in legal writing, research, reasoning, and judgment. As an appellate law clerk, Tan helped Judge Wood prepare to hear oral arguments and to draft proposed opinions.

"On this court, you have exposure to so many different areas of the law," says Tan. "You learn about something new almost every time a case comes before you. You are always trying to find the right answer."

Tan feels her clerkship offered her "greater substantive work that is deeper than that of a first-year associate in a large law firm." In addition, she says, "It gave me that extra year with this wonderful mentor to further develop my skills."

Many students envision impressive, high-paying associate positions after law school, but assistant professor Kermit Roosevelt, and his colleagues on Penn Law's Clerkship Committee, encourage them to delay that pursuit and see the unique, long-term profits of clerkships.

"We encourage students to think broadly," says Roosevelt, who chaired the committee in 2004-05. "We talk to students about career goals and how a clerkship might fit into those and make them better lawyers."
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