JAA Externship a Great Experience

Jason Kemp is our first extern at the Jacksonville Aviation Authority. Jason kindly provided some bullet points from his externship there, to assist future externs in obtaining the most from an externship with the JAA. Here are some points made by Jason regarding the kind of work an extern can expect to receive at the JAA:

• Get to work with Chief Counsel for the agency that governs the operation of Jacksonville’s 4 airports
• Atmosphere is comparable to that of General Counsel at any large corporation
• Work closely with CEO, CFO, and COO on unique legal issues that arise in airport operations and management
• Exposure to an independent agency that operates as a hybrid between a governmental body and a corporation, which offers the opportunity to learn a wide range of legal issues
• Exposure to the Government in the Sunshine Act and its implications
• Research and analyze issues with procurement. Procurement is something most will not learn at law school, so this is a great opportunity to learn from an agency whose staff have a great deal of knowledge on procurement.
• Research changes in Employment (Human Resources) Law and help update JAA policies to be compliant with such changes
• Gain knowledge about the FAA and the regulatory scheme that governs civil aviation in America
• Research changes in the regulatory law to maintain compliance
• Draft possible changes in airport policy to maintain compliance with the federal regulations
• Get to tour the facilities at each of the four Jacksonville airports to better understand the implications of JAA policies
• Attend meetings with executives
• Attend board meetings
• Research and gain an understanding of the law in the following areas plus more: employment, tax, civil rights, regulatory, procurement, sunshine laws, law enforcement, premises liability, etc.
**Intern must pass a drug screen and background check prior to starting. Allow 2-4 weeks for this. If selected, Human Resources will guide the intern through the process with ease.

Below are more bullet points provided by Jason regarding the environment and culture at the JAA, from his personal experience.

• The people I work with are great–ethical, professional, and great people to learn from.
• The workplace environment is a positive one. It is relatively low stress. Most times I have time to fully research an issue and draft a memo as opposed to a law firm where the research and motion must be completed immediately.
• I love aviation, so working right by the airport is a cherry on top, so to speak.
• I get a good mix of general legal issues and aviation-related issues.
• Most importantly, I love coming to work. The subject matter and the people are great! It beats taking a course on a subject I will likely not use, because I am learning law that I know I will use at some point.
• Mrs. Braga is the best supervisor I could ask for. She’s brilliant. She is patient. She keeps me busy. It is the perfect situation for a law student.
We very much appreciate the time taken by Jason to reflect on his experience at the JAA and to share his reflections with future externs. This is an excellent example of what the clinical faculty means when we encourage our students to become reflective lawyers. Thank you, Jason.