Upon completing her first year at BYU Law, McKinney Voss (1L) looked forward to beginning her summer externship in London.
“I hope to practice law internationally … so London seemed like the perfect place to start making connections and gaining experience,” Voss explained.
Voss has been externing at Devonshires Solicitors, a 175-year-old mid-size law firm that specializes in multiple areas of law practice including corporate, commerce, personal injury, and clinical negligence. The center of London’s business district is home to the firm’s largest office where Voss has been working as a member of the clinical negligence team.
The criminal negligence team works with clients who are seeking compensation for damages caused by negligently performed medical procedures. In one recent case, Voss was assisting in compiling a list of costs for a client. As she meticulously reviewed invoices for appointments, travel expenses to see specialists, and receipts for medications, Voss realized that the costs incurred were genuine and legitimate, and not all easily quantifiable.
“We have a complex legal system that helps us determine how we, as a society, choose to allocate costs,” Voss said. “I’m grateful for a legal system that allows us to balance costs, objectively assess where they should fall, and, in some small way, alleviate suffering.”
Voss has also had the opportunity to work with many attorneys and observe a variety of trials and hearings. In one instance, she observed a trial at the renowned “Old Bailey” Central Criminal Court. She was impressed by how the prosecuting barrister presented the case.
“The whole experience felt fair and just,” Voss described. “The evidence alone would guide the jury and the law would be enforced, but the alleged law breaker was still a human being entitled to dignity and respect.”
Voss has been grateful for the framework of legal knowledge gained during her first year at BYU Law and the opportunities she’s had to apply it while externing abroad.