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Hornthal, Riley, Ellis & Maland, L.L.P. (HRE&M) - Full Service North Carolina Law Firm Hornthal, Riley, Ellis & Maland, L.L.P. (HRE&M) - Full Service North Carolina Law Firm Hornthal, Riley, Ellis & Maland, L.L.P. (HRE&M) - Full Service North Carolina Law Firm

Summer Law Clerkship Opportunities

Overview of a Summer Clerkship With The Firm

We seek highly motivated individuals with maturity, excellent legal skills and diverse backgrounds. We set the highest standards for our legal work and for the attorneys who work with the Firm.

Most of the summer law clerks that the Firm has hired in the past have worked primarily in the Elizabeth City office of the Firm. All laws clerks are provided the opportunity to work in all three of our offices during the summer. Much of the work performed by summer law clerks involve litigation matters. Currently all of the Firm's litigators work primarily out of the Elizabeth City office. However, the Firm's attorneys handle litigation matters all over Northeastern North Carolina and therefore many clerks in the past have been able to travel around the First Judicial District when needed. A summer law clerk with the Firm will find herself or himself working on a wide range of legal topics and areas of law.

Overall, the Firm offers a summer clerkship that is challenging, rewarding, and experience-building.

We are strongly committed to equal employment opportunities for all applicants. Therefore, we encourage and invite all law students who believe they have the attributes we seek and who feel they would be challenged by our type of practice to interview with us.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does the Firm select its summer clerks?

We hire students who demonstrate exceptional leadership and academic qualities. The Firm hired most of its previous summer clerks through on-campus interviews conducted at law schools. However, we also actively recruit qualified students from other law schools. In selecting our summer clerks, we strive to keep our program diverse and to include students from a variety of different schools.

We conduct on-campus interviews at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, Wake Forest University School of Law, Campbell University School of Law.

We invite law students from other law schools to send us a resume no later than September 15 during his or her second year of law school for consideration for employment during the following summer.

In past summers, successful applicants possessed good academic performance in law school and a history of significant contributions in professional, community, and charitable pursuits. Previous law clerks have also participated in significant law school extracurricular activities such as law review or journal membership, moot court, and trial team participation.

Although the Firm often chooses the successful summer clerk candidates without the need for a second interview in our offices, the Firm is pleased to welcome a visit by an applicant who desires to visit our offices during the selection process.

The Firm generally hires two law students who have successfully completed their second year of law school. We may on occasion hire a student who has completed the first year of law school. The Firm does not consider any candidates for the first year clerkship position until after January 1 of each year.

After we have completed all of our scheduled on-campus interviews at the law schools, we extend only one offer per position at a time. Once we extend an offer, we generally give the candidate up to five days to consider the offer.

2. How does the Firm's summer clerk program operate?

Our program typically begins around the middle of May and ends in early to mid August. The Firm finds it impractical both for the Firm and for the student to offer a split summer for a student to clerk at our firm and another law firm.

Each summer clerk is paired with a supervising attorney who serves as a mentor. These supervising attorneys will administer work assignments, provide regular feedback, arrange informal get-togethers with other lawyers, and generally see that the summer clerk is integrated into life at the Firm.

Because the Firm believes that there are distinct advantages to working at Hornthal, Riley, Ellis & Maland and living in the Albemarle Area and the Outer Banks, we include social activities in our program to allow summer clerks to get to know the region, the lawyers, and each other. Past summer events have included a minor league baseball game, firm softball games, dinners, and cookouts.

We provide each summer clerk with the exclusive use of a networked personal computer that includes inter-office and Internet e-mail. All offices of the law firm are equipped with a Microsoft Exchange 2010 network, inter-office and Internet e-mail using Microsoft Outlook and Internet research capabilities. We offer a wide range of online and traditional book research resources. Secretarial assistance is available if needed.

3. What type of work will I perform as a summer clerk at Hornthal, Riley, Ellis & Maland?

We provide summer clerks with a variety of types of assignments over the course of the summer, including legal research, contract drafting, research memoranda, title examinations, and assisting in closings, depending in part on the interest and experience of the law student. Legal research and writing make up a substantial portion of the assignments. Summer clerks work on actual cases and transactions for clients. In addition, we encourage both partners and associates to allow summer clerks to observe negotiations, depositions, client meetings, hearings, trials, arbitrations, mediations, depositions, oral arguments, closings, and client meetings.

The Firm's "Team Approach" attitude sets the Firm apart from other law firms. Each person at Hornthal, Riley, Ellis & Maland is a member of one team with one common goal. A great deal of interaction and advice occurs between partners and associates in different practice areas. Every person in every practice area is treated like an essential piece of the team effort to serve the client. Hornthal, Riley, Ellis & Maland's clients are referred to as "our client", not "his client" or "her client."

4. How much will I be paid?

We anticipate that our salaries will be competitive for law firms of our size and location.

5. What are the plans for growth for Hornthal, Riley, Ellis & Maland?

We believe in hiring associates when there is a definite need for another lawyer, with the thought that the associate would have the opportunity to eventually become a partner with the Firm. We hire only those associates who we believe have the potential to be successful attorneys with Hornthal, Riley, Ellis & Maland. We do not hire associates just to have a short-term lawyer working for the Firm. Therefore, we do not hire a new associate every year. The summer program is a cornerstone of the Firm's associate recruiting efforts.

6. What housing and parking options are available?

The Firm does not provide room and board; however, we do provide you with landlord and rental information for landlords who will agree to short-term leases. The Firm will also sign a Guarantor Agreement with the City of Elizabeth City to enable you to receive electrical and water services and avoid paying a security deposit.

The parking is free at all three of our offices.

Housing and parking costs for law students can be quite high in larger cities. Therefore, we invite interested law students to compare these costs with the costs in other cities when comparing job opportunities that are available.

7. Are any other "perks" offered by the Firm to summer clerks?

The Firm provides to each summer clerk a free three-month membership at the Albemarle Family YMCA in Elizabeth City.

8. What kinds of cases are handled by Hornthal, Riley, Ellis & Maland?

Being the largest AV-rated law firm based in Northeastern North Carolina, the Firm attracts a large number of large, complex cases which some might think would only be handled by big-city law firms. Our past summer law clerks have expressed surprise at the complexity and the diversity of the cases on which they have worked during a summer at Hornthal, Riley, Ellis & Maland. We like to think of the Firm's practice as a "big city practice spread over a ten county area."

9. Who do I contact for additional information?

For additional information, contact:

Don Prentiss, Hiring Partner
301 East Main Street
Elizabeth City, NC 27909
Telephone: (252) 335-0871, extension 318
Fax: (252) 335-4223

Hornthal, Riley, Ellis & Maland - A Full Service North Carolina Law Firm for over 100 years

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Donald C. Prentiss recognized by the North Carolina Bar Association with its Citizen Lawyer Award at the Bar Association’s Annual Awards Banquet on June 21, 2018 in Wilmington, N.C.
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