In Baylor Law's In-House Counsel Externship Program students work under the supervision of an in-house lawyer in the private sector observing and learning about the practical skills in-house attorneys use every day. In addition to the work students do for the companies, they also complete a classroom component. The classroom component focuses on substantive issues commonly encountered by in-house counsel in corporate law departments as well as ethical issues and practical skills, such as working with outside counsel, identifying and dealing with conflicts of interest, preserving attorney-client privilege in the in-house context, developing policies and monitoring compliance, and conducting internal investigations.
“It truly is a family business. Chip and Joanna are working there every day, and are passionate about Waco and their employees,” Madison said. Madison enrolled in the In-House Counsel Externship Program, which has a weekly class component taught by Lotte Bostick, JD ’88. “As more companies add and rely on in-house legal departments, Baylor Law added the In-House Counsel Externship Course to give students both hands-on and classroom experience related to the in-house practice of law,” said Professor Bostick. “Each student works with an in-house legal department, gaining valuable insight and experience into the practical issues handled by in-house attorneys and facing today’s business,” she continued. Madison initially thought her internship might be focused on the Waco-based real estate side of Magnolia, but quickly learned that when you are dealing with a company that employs hundreds of people, has expanded into many facets of life, from local Waco restaurants to home décor, every day is a new adventure. “I learned a lot about research, problem solving, and the internal processes of an entity that operates on a local, national, and now – with a new focus on a television channel – global level. I was able to see how a company of that size operates on a micro- and macro level while I completed substantive work related to federal, state, and local regulatory compliance, product liability, labor and employment concerns, among many other things,” said Madison. “Since I’ve began practicing, I have realized that working with Magnolia, as well as the in-class material taught by Professor Bostick and Professor Miller, gave me skills to analyze how a client may think and operate. I have a unique perspective on how my clients may approach litigation and transactions that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”