During my two-day Princeternship experience, I shadowed Professor James Fleming, the Associate Dean for Research and Intellectual Life at Boston University Law School. Along with two other students, I sat in on Professor Fleming’s meetings with research assistants, participated in a faculty workshop, and attended two of Professor Fleming’s classes. In between these activities, Professor Fleming spent a considerable amount of time fielding our questions about both law school and law as a future profession. He was extremely open to discussing whatever topics we brought up and was excited to show us around his office.
On the first day, after going through introductory information, we met one of Professor Fleming’s research assistants who was helping to fact check his upcoming book’s footnotes. She also came to discuss a paper topic for one of the professor’s classes, Constitutional Theory. This meeting was interesting because we were able to hear about law school from the perspective of a current student. Later that day, we sat in on the professor’s other course, Constitutional Law. It was very similar to classes here at Princeton, such as Civil Liberties, and I enjoyed listening to the material from the viewpoint of a law school course. Other encounters throughout the day included conversations with faculty members who were excited to share pieces of their work with us.
On the second day, after meeting with another research assistant, we attended a faculty workshop where a visiting assistant professor presented a draft of his paper to his colleagues. Those at the workshop gave the professor helpful feedback and supported a lively discussion of his work. Later, we attended Professor Fleming’s Constitutional Theory class, a course very similar to seminars at Princeton. Later that evening, we enjoyed a dinner with Professor Fleming and his family at his home in Brookline, Massachusetts. His family was welcoming and interested in learning about our different backgrounds.
Overall, I found this Princeternship to be extremely valuable because it enabled me to see both the inner workings of a law school and the law student point of view. Everyone there was eager to share their experiences and academic interests and I found the atmosphere to be very supportive. I would recommend this shadowing opportunity to students as a great way to spend two days with other like-minded Princeton students in an interesting new environment.