Each year, Ireland Stapleton hires promising law school students to join our Summer Associate Program. In this 10-week program, the summer associates receive practical and substantive real-life, on-the-job training, preparing them for a successful career in law.
Jon Brummet, one of our two summer associates from the University of Wyoming, gave us some insight on why he has chosen to pursue a career in law, what it’s like to be a summer associate at Ireland Stapleton, and what he hopes to get out of this program with the Firm.
Tell us a little about yourself!
I am a Colorado native and a 3L at the University of Wyoming College of Law. I completed my undergraduate at the University of Colorado in 2010, then moved to South Korea to teach English. I returned to Colorado with my young family in 2020 to attend law school. My kids take up most of my free time, but I like to play drums and tennis when given a chance.
What made you want to get into law?
I began to consider law school after my oldest was born. My children have dual citizenship (U.S. and South Korea) and this provides incredible opportunities to live in two countries without the restrictions that come with visas. The versatility of a law degree offers access to markets in both the United States and South Korea. I decided that completing law school would provide the opportunity and ability to support my children, regardless of where they reside.
What kind of law would you like to practice, and what is it about that area of law that is intriguing to you?
I am most interested in estate planning, real estate, and corporate law. In particular, I find corporate transparency disclosures (ESG disclosures) to be a fascinating and quickly developing branch of legal advising. I enjoy writing on and discussing trends shaping the new socially conscious investor and corporate responses to a stronger push for transparency.
What do you hope to get out of this summer program?
I hope to get substantial exposure to the broad practice areas at Ireland Stapleton. I have found that I can enjoy any topic or assignment. I am looking for projects that further develop my legal writing skills, and I hope to observe or participate in judicial proceedings, depositions, or arbitration hearings. Above all, I hope to build strong relationships with those at Ireland Stapleton and learn from their experiences in the practice of law.
What does a typical day at Ireland Stapleton look like for you?
I arrive at the office around 8:30 AM most days. The location of the firm is ideally situated to allow transit via bus or light rail. I do my best research early in the morning and try to get something on paper before taking a lunch break. After lunch, I continue my writing, research, and any other projects until the end of the day. It is easy to get distracted by the incredible views of the city from all around my office.
What kinds of projects are you working on right now?
I have worked on research projects, memorandums, legal opinions, and client correspondences. Each assignment has covered a different topic of the law ranging from agency, reclamation duties, real estate lending, indemnity, employment contracts, and search warrants.
Which attorneys have you been working with the most and what are you learning from them?
I have worked primarily with Sarah Abbott, Jim Killean, Zach Price, and Michelle Ferguson. They have provided excellent feedback, guidance, and suggestions for future assignments. I am learning to focus on clarity, precision, and how to be efficient with my writing and time.
Do you have any tips or tricks that you’ve come up with?
Some helpful tips and tricks I have learned are to bring a notepad everywhere you go and prepare a few precise questions in advance. It is beneficial to ask about assignment format, scope, timeline, and helpful starting points. Almost all the assignments have required learning something new. Law school helps develop the necessary reading and writing skills, but many projects are on topics briefly mentioned in a class or not at all.
What have been some highlights of your time at Ireland Stapleton so far?
So far, the most significant highlight of my experience was locating a statute highly relevant to a client matter that had not been discovered. I was thrilled to see my research incorporated into an advisory email. Then the memo I wrote on the topic was circulated in the department. Other research I completed has also been used in an advisory role. It truly has been great to work on matters for actual clients and see that work used. On another note, the associate event at a Rockies game was so much fun!
What have been some challenges you have faced so far this summer?
Some of the challenges have been selecting the best format for assignment submissions. As such, I have gotten better at asking those kinds of questions when receiving assignments. Balancing assignments can be tricky as well. Some days there might only be one assignment to work on, but other days will see a larger number of tasks.
What is something you are most looking forward to this summer?
I am excited for the summer firm-wide event at a Rockies game in July. I am also hoping to receive more work from the real estate team, but something I am most looking forward to is an arbitration assignment.
What is a piece of advice you’d like to give to others who are thinking about a career as a lawyer?
Law school is really hard. One who is thinking about it should be prepared to read and write… a lot. But if you enjoy logic and puzzles, it might be right up your alley. I didn’t consider law school until six or seven years out of undergraduate and I had to work hard to get in. You have to really want it. However, it has been one of the best decisions of my life and something that I can honestly say I put my “all” into.