Career Profiles

Hector Perez ‘16

Judicial Extern for the Honorable S. James Otero, Los Angeles District Courthouse


Hector Perez ‘16

Where did you extern?
This past semester I was a judicial extern at the District Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, working for the Honorable S. James Otero.

What did you do during your externship? Can you give an example of a project you worked on?
I worked in the chambers of Judge Otero and primarily drafted orders related to ongoing cases. This included legal research and preparation of memoranda. Throughout my experience, I was able to work closely with the law clerks as well as Judge Otero, while learning about the judicial decision-making process, and the justice system in general.

What excited you the most about the position?
The most exciting thing to me was being able to learn about how the federal system works from the “inside out.” It is a very unique standpoint to learn from, and I was excited about it.

How did you learn about the position?
I applied myself through the Court website: www.cacd.uscourts.gov.

How did your education and experience here at Whittier Law prepare you for your externship?
I was able to fortify my legal writing skills early on in my education at Whittier Law. I have since honed my legal research and writing abilities in law school and through my various internships.

What advice do you have for other students thinking about externing for this employer or going into this field of practice?
A prospective extern should make themselves available for at least four days a week in order to gain significant value from this experience. I would tell them that this type of externship requires much work and dedication. If they are up to it, I would advise them to jump at the opportunity.