Career Profiles

Cornelo Dilag ‘17

Law Clerk, Aegis Law Firm

Cornelo Dilag ‘17

What is your job/internship title, and place of work?
I worked as a Law Clerk at Aegis Law Firm during Summer 2016.

What were your responsibilities?
The firm practices personal and class action employment litigation. The firm gave me a wide range of responsibilities and I had the chance to work on fascinating and complex cases. I worked on discovery responses, drafted an extensive research memorandum for a narrow legal issue, revised complaints, observed a court appearance, and attended a deposition where I drafted special interrogatories and requests for evidence based on newly discovered facts that arose from the deposition. I also wrote a memorandum about ways to defeat enforcement of an arbitration clause in an employment contract. Moreover, I drafted a motion to compel opposing counsel to provide discovery responses. One of the most interesting cases I worked on involved the intersection of interstate versus intrastate commerce and employment law. My supervisors provided great feedback on my work-product and I know this experience helped me strengthen my research, writing, and analytical skills.

What excited you most about the job?
The thing that excited me most about the job is the opportunity to write court documents in support of real-world legal issues. I worked on complex and interesting cases and collaborated with my supervising attorneys to resolve issues for our clients.

How did you find the position?
I obtained this internship placement through Whittier Law School’s Office of Career and Professional Developmentā€™s Spring OCR program.

How did your education and experience at Whittier Law School prepare you for this position?
I was also able to use the legal memo that I wrote for Lawyering Skills as a template for the legal research assignments that were delegated to me. During the summer, I also enrolled in Pre-trial Litigation with Professor Kelley Mauerman. I had the opportunity to conduct client and witness interviews and depositions, draft discovery requests, write a motion to dismiss, orally argue a discovery motion, and prepare a memorandum of contentions of fact and law. Coincidentally, all the weekly assignments due in that class paralleled the projects that my supervisors at Aegis Law Firm assigned to me.

Do you have any advice for students or alum seeking employment, particularly in your industry?
I find that strong writing skills are essential in the legal field. Getting familiar with how to write legal documents is very important, whether you are writing objectively or persuasively. This is a transferrable skill that a student can bring to any externship placement he or she lands. It is best that students working at law firms ask for writing samples and discuss writing styles and preferences with their supervisors. It is also important to discuss with their supervisors any deadlines for planning purposes. Lastly, enjoy the experience and write down notes of all the lessons you learn each day you come to work. It is important that you reflect on these notes so when similar projects get assigned later on, you would have a good understanding on how you would attack it effectively and efficiently.

Ultimately, my work experiences have made me realize that working in the legal field is a culture itself. Once you learn the culture, the work flows naturally and easily. You then become familiar with what is being expected of you. Keeping an open mind and internalizing the lessons learned from each assignment are definitely ingredients to success.