W&J senior Kyleigh Jester stands in front of an evergreen tree and smiles.

Case closed: Maxwell scholar finds love of law through dual internships

Created: September 20, 2022  |  Last Updated: November 22, 2022  |  Category:   |  Tagged: , , , , , , ,

WASHINGTON, PA (September 20, 2022)—W&J senior Kyleigh Jester has seen her share of trials.

A political science and Spanish double major on the pre-law track, Jester recently completed internships at Lyons Law LLC, where she worked directly with its founder, Leigh Lyons, and at Washington County Children & Youth Services (WCCYS), serving as a legal intern at both firms and immersing herself in all things law.

Advantaged by the dual roles, Jester assisted with a diversity of real-world legal work, creating exhibit lists, reviewing court packets, preparing timelines and summaries for hearings, filing documents at the prothonotary, and drafting court orders, court petitions, and complaints.

“For the first few weeks of my WCCYS internship I spent almost every day in the courtroom,” Jester said, noting that she took on more preparatory work as time went on. “With Leigh, I got to learn more of the day-to-day life in a private practice environment and…the business side of owning your own firm.”

Still, it was clients and connection that proved the most meaningful for the president.

“My favorite part about working with Leigh was seeing how she interacted with her clients,” Jester said, noting that the attorney often served as a mentor. And at WCCYS, “I learned what a true art lawyering is and how best to advocate for your clients in the courtroom.”

Finding that penchant for people developed Jester’s professional pursuits into proven passion.

“Working with both internships really made me realize that I do and will love being an attorney and that making the commitment to law school will be totally worth it,” said Jester, who plans to attend law school after graduating in the spring.

A Maxwell Scholar and Community Lead for the Office of Belonging & Engagement who learned of the opportunity at WCCYS through W&J connections, she shares credit for her success with Dr. Joseph DiSarro, her academic advisor and a professor of political science, the larger College, and its staff.

“Funding [from the Maxwell Internship Award] enabled me to stay in Washington this summer and partake in two internships that will have a long-lasting impact of my education and future career,” Jester said.

“[Residential Learning Coordinator] Tucker DeCasere and [Community Coordinator] Lauryn Nett have always been my go-to people and the biggest motivators for my success,” she continued. “I am so grateful for the staff…who always have my back and encourage and push me outside of my comfort zone to achieve my goals.”

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, proudly located in Washington, Pa., is a historic liberal arts college founded in 1781 that values ethical leadership, professional readiness, and inclusive communities. Our highly customized and intellectually engaging student experience develops professionals of uncommon integrity to lead in an ever-changing world. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu or call 888-W-AND-JAY.