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Pathways to the Profession: William Seidleck L’17

July 27, 2015

Judicial extern William Seidleck L’17 discusses how his Penn Law coursework is preparing him to pursue a career in appellate litigation.

Editor’s Note: Each summer Penn Law students hone their skills through a wide array of private and public sector internships across the country and around the world. Generous financial support and fellowships for international and public interest work enable students to pursue diverse assignments in the United States and abroad. This dispatch from William Seidleck L’17 is one in a series of firsthand accounts by Law School students about how their summer employment opportunities are preparing them for their legal careers. Seidleck is from Annapolis, Maryland. He went to Marymount University, in Arlington, Virginia, and then worked for about three years in Washington, D.C., two of which were spent at the U.S. Supreme Court. 

This summer, I am working as a judicial extern for the Honorable Jeffrey S. Sutton on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. It is a tremendous thrill and privilege to be working for such a distinguished jurist as Judge Sutton. That alone would make the whole experience worthwhile. 

Practically speaking, my work includes assisting the law clerks with their assignments and research. Because legal research is a major component of my work, Professor Silver’s Legal Practice Skills course has proven tremendously helpful. It is great to see how practical and useful LPS is to everyday legal work. Substantively, Professor Berman’s Constitutional Law course and Professor Gelbach’s Civil Procedure and Legislation courses have been useful in providing context for many of my assignments. It was also refreshing to see just how much I have learned and retained over the course of 1L year. 

My time working at the U.S. Supreme Court also helped provide me with broader context regarding the work of the Court of Appeals. It is really fascinating to have witnessed the interplay between the different levels of our federal appellate court structure both from the Supreme Court level and now from the Court of Appeals level. 

My experience of helping the clerks with their assignments has also been professionally enriching. Since I hope to pursue federal appellate clerkships and then a career in appellate litigation, getting a taste of what a clerkship is like is quite rewarding. Nothing could be more exciting than getting to review legal arguments, research the issues, and then weigh the merits of those arguments in light of the law. Based on that experience, I can certainly testify to the benefit of having a stellar legal education that prepares you both intellectually and practically. 

- William Seidleck


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