Berkeley Law student Rodolfo Rivera Aquino writes on the school’s website about his 12-week pandemic-summer externship with Justice Leondra Kruger. He says he worked “primarily on petitions for review, calendar memoranda (draft opinions), and preliminary responses (response by a justice to a circulating opinion).”
Aquino details extern responsibilities for petitions for review: “Each week, externs were assigned a petition that revolved around a legal issue that could go either way. We had a week to analyze the petition and provide a recommendation to the justice, in a virtual meeting, about how she should vote in the coming conference meeting (where justices decide whether to grant review).” He says he “had the opportunity to help shape the law through recommendations.”
In the movie “Philadelphia,” Denzel Washington plays a lawyer whose memorable catchphrase is, “explain this to me like I’m a 4-year-old.” Sometimes, it might not be a bad idea to write your petitions for review as if you’re explaining your case to a law student extern.