Ryan Wallentine (1L) would like to practice international law or work in the foreign service following graduation. Therefore, when looking for externship opportunities, he was pleased to find an opportunity in Tokyo, Japan.
Wallentine has been studying Japanese independently and is grateful for the opportunity to apply his skills in a law-centered environment. Currently working for Baker & Mckenzie, a global law firm, Wallentine does translation work concerning many aspects of the law.
During his first translation assignment, Wallentine had to translate the addresses of clients being sued. It was through this process that Wallentine realized the work he was doing was on behalf of real people. He was not facing a hypothetical situation with fictitious characters or consequences; the decisions and judgements he was making on behalf of his client were going to have real-world ramifications.
“It was both a strange and exciting realization…” Wallentine said of the experience. “It was nice to see concrete evidence that my first year of law school had succeeded in getting me to think more like a lawyer.”
This experience, among others, has offered Wallentine greater insight into the law and reminded him of the reason he first decided to pursue law: to influence lives and the real world.
In addition to translation work, Wallentine works in multiple areas of the law, including: tax, corporate, mergers and acquisitions, and immigration.
“I haven’t taken any classes in any of these subjects, but I am getting quite a bit of exposure to what these fields look like in practice through proofreading emails and other correspondence, translating documents into English, comparing and merging two different documents on the same project, and meetings with attorneys,” Wallentine said.
Although Wallentine did not have prior experience in each of these areas, he gained important and applicable skills at BYU Law that have helped him succeed. These skills were taught through BYU Law’s Milestones program which was designed to prepare students for employment and meaningful leadership in the law.
Applying skills gained during his first year at BYU Law, Wallentine has been able to confidently approach projects and have the satisfaction of knowing the work he is doing is influencing lives for the better.