Intern Spotlight: Law student takes on U.S. District Court

By Nadia Felder


Internships opportunities are at the top of the list of priorities among law students across the country. So, when an internship at the United States District Court of the Southern District in Miami, Florida, opened, Raynna Nkwanyuo, did not hesitate.

As a rising second year Florida A&M University College of Law student, Nkwanyuo never imagined attending law school, let alone being the only FAMU student to intern within the chambers of the Honorable Donald L. Graham during the summer 2017 semester.

“As students, [we] often only focus on grades, but grades are just as important as obtaining valuable experience,” said Nkwanyuo.

During her eight-week internship, Nkwanyuo was provided with a full perspective of the federal system, specifically with legal research and writing.

“As a first-year student, of course, all classes are significant, but the most valuable skills are legal research and writing. Being able to articulate and execute a proper legal analysis is key,” she said.

Post-graduation, Nkwanyuo hopes to pursue a career in health care law and policy.

How does this internship help prepare you for your future career as a legal professional?

This internship is certainly geared towards my future career in government and public service. I think this will serve as real foundation and open a lot of doors for me. The position is very practical as well as provides application of legal research and writing intensive skills.

What skills are you using at the internship that you learned from FAMU College of Law?

I am using the skills that I learned in my doctrinal classes, specifically, within the civil procedure and legal research and writing course.

What advice would you share to students looking for internships now?

I would suggest that students take the time to network, as well use the resources that the institution offers within career services. Members of the career services staff will do their best to serve you. They are willing to conduct a mock interview with you as well as review your application materials. If you are a student who sees yourself working outside of Orlando, FL., it is important to get connected and try to attend various conferences, networking events, etc.

Sidebar: Other Summer Judicial Placements:

  • April Williams, a rising third-year student, is interning with the Honorable Barbara Pariente, Justice of the Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee.
  • Kyra Murphy, a rising second-year student, is interning with the Honorable Faye Allen, County Court Judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit in Orlando.
  • Mia Williams, a rising third-year student, is interning with the Honorable Donald Myers, Jr., Judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit County Court Judge, Orlando