Elissa Ronquillo

Summer Job Diaries: Big Law Summer Associate Puts Legal Research Skills into Action

Elissa standing in front of Perkins Coie office sign

Elissa Ronquillo '22 is a rising third-year student who is spending the summer at Perkins Coie exercising skills she developed as Technical Editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review.

How did you land your summer job?

I was able to land my current job through the On-Campus Interviews (OCI) process. I came to law school knowing I wanted to work in Big Law. That was heavily influenced by my prior job in recruiting at a couple of big firms. I felt lucky to have had so many opportunities before law school where I could speak with attorneys about what they do and why they chose to work in this field. These conversations gave me insight and advice I used to land a summer associate position. I would not have landed my summer job—or gone to law school!—were it not for the many individuals that took the time to mentor and coach me throughout the process.

What is the most interesting part of your job?

One of the most interesting parts of my job is getting to speak with so many different people about the work they do. The Perkins Coie LA office has such a diverse mix of practice groups and I enjoy learning about the ins and outs, including any similarities or unique differences of the various groups.

What has been your most challenging assignment thus far?

My most challenging assignment is a bankruptcy research memo regarding constructive fraudulent transfers that I am currently working on. I am completely new to this area of the law, and I’ve had to quickly get up to speed on some of the lingo and terminology. However, my supervising attorney, who is also my partner mentor, has been great at walking me through these types of issues and giving me guidance along the way. It’s all a learning process and it’s this type of challenging work that attracted me to this career in the first place—you’re always learning something new! 

What new legal skill have you acquired during your summer job? 

Balancing concision with thoroughness. It might sound silly, but I don’t think I realized the amount of short and concise emails I would have to put together summarizing complex legal issues. Most of my prior writing experience entailed lengthy memoranda. Being able to synthesize hours of research into two to three organized and digestible paragraphs in the body of an email is a useful and beneficial skill I have developed through this internship.

What bit of legal knowledge have you been able to display?

I have been able to pull knowledge from my legal research and writing, Civil Procedure, Contracts, and Constitutional law classes.

How has Loyola Law School helped you map your career path?

I utilized my career counselor for mock interviews, resume preparation and other questions that came up during the recruiting process. OCI is a stressful process and doing it all remotely added another layer. My career counselor was helpful and encouraging throughout the process.