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June 16, 2021

Part III: What You Wished You Learned in Law School

By Kalae Menard.

Every law student has heard the following phrase, “Law school does not prepare you for the real world.” You spend countless hours reading and briefing cases just to survive the possibility of being cold called in class. Traditionally, to gain that real world experience you must balance a law firm internship during law school or gain a post-JD internship; however, landing an internship or externship does not mean you will gain the legal training that is necessary to be prepared for entry-level attorney job.

Additionally, many of the cases you read to prepare for class were already resolved. You were left wondering: What happened prior to that resolution? How were the discovery tools you learned about in Civil Procedure used? Was there no reasonable resolution that could have been reached prior to trial? How do you prepare for a trial? Week three of the Law Klinic will not only provide you with these answers, but it will prepare you for the real world, and your position as a First-Party Property Attorney at Kelley Kronenberg.

This week I learned about depositions, negotiation techniques, and how to adequately prepare for trial. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to apply what I learned. Not only was I given practical tips, but I had the opportunity to practice conducting a deposition. I (along with the other Klinic members), was given a short fact pattern regarding a claim, and I had to question a mock witness as if it was a live deposition. Each member of the Klinic was given the opportunity to ask as many questions as desired, and at the end of the mock deposition, immediate feedback was given. I also had the opportunity to participate in a mock mediation. Two of the Klinic members represented the plaintiff, the other two represented the defendant, and we did not reach an agreed upon resolution. It was an enjoyable experience, and I was grateful that my first mediation happened at the guidance and mentorship of experienced Kelley Kronenberg attorneys.

My personal highlight for this week was the day we spent on trial prep. Like so many law students, I took a trial prep course in law school; however, there is no better learning experience than participating in an actual trial. As a former prosecutor, I conducted a few trials, and avoidable mistakes were made! The amount of knowledge that I gained from doing a trial cannot be taught in law school; nonetheless, the Law Klinic did a great job educating us on how to avoid those common mistakes. As a group, we discussed everything from pre-trial to post-trial matters, motion drafting, and objections. We were also given practical tips that only experienced attorneys would know – it was the conversation I wish I had prior to my first trial.

I remember how nervous I was during my first week at Kelley Kronenberg about my ability to do the job I was hired for – I knew nothing about First-Party Property. While I am still no First-Party Property expert, my confidence has grown each week. The Law Klinic has equipped me with the tools I need to be successful in my role, and I feel fully capable of doing my job. It is now the beginning of week four, and it is time for the training wheels to come off.


Kalae Menard is an Attorney at Kelley Kronenberg where she assists in handling matters related to First Party Property Insurance Defense Litigation.

Contact Kalae Menard at:
Email: kmenard@kklaw.com

DISCLAIMER: This article is provided as a courtesy and is intended for the general information of the matters discussed above and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Neither Kelley Kronenberg, nor its individual attorneys or staff, are responsible for errors, omissions and/or typographical errors – always seek competent legal counsel.