This is part one of a series where Santa Clara Law students discuss their summer work experiences. Payam Ahmadi JD ’23 was a Federal Judicial Intern for the Honorable Liam O’Grady in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Payam AhmadiQ: What work did you do within your internship?

A: I drafted orders, memos, conducted legal research on a variety of cases including 12(b)(6) motions, defamation cases, contract disputes, motions for compassionate release, etc.

Q: How did Santa Clara Law help prepare you for your internship journey both while searching for one and during your experience?

A: I learned a lot from my Legal Research and Writing courses from Professor Zipes and Professor Duffy on how to improve my skills. The personalized feedback and memo practice was extremely helpful in building a foundation for my research and writing skills. I also benefited from my Civil Procedure course from Professor Streseman and my Contracts course from Professor Hammond exposing me to applicable rules and substantive work in preparation for the cases flowing into chambers.

Q: What was the biggest takeaway from your internship?

A: I truly believe in the importance of paying attention to detail in all aspects of litigation including writing, researching, oral advocacy, memo organization, and emotional intelligence in the courtroom.

Q: What advice would you give current law students looking for their next internship?

A: I would advise students to be proactive in seeking jobs and mentors to gather as much information as possible and take advantage of the opportunities in front of them.

Q: What do you hope to achieve in the future?

A: My goal is to be a strong litigator that has the prestige to represent major clients that have an important impact on society and hold immense value on everyday life.