Minnesota Law

Summer 2023
For the Record

Summer Experiences: Evan Dale, 3L

Evan Dale, 3L, is from Golden Valley, Minnesota. This year, he worked as a summer associate with Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, D.C. He received his B.A. in History & Political Science from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He is currently the Lead Note & Comment Editor of Minnesota Law Review, research assistant to Professor Prentiss Cox, and an SSG student instructor. He will also be a student director for the Racial Justice Law Clinic this fall. Evan is a former law clerk with the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General and the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. Before law school, he served as Operations Manager & Science and Space Policy Advisor for the Office of United States Representative Sylvia R. Garcia (TX-29). Evan is a new uncle, an avid reader of Robert Caro, and a lifelong fan of Minnesota and University of Michigan sports.

Evan Dale, 3L

How did you connect with or find this summer opportunity?

I found my position through the Midwest-California-Georgia Consortium recruiting program, of which Minnesota Law is a participant. I had heard of Steptoe during my time working on the Hill; having familiarity with some of the firm’s work piqued my interest in potentially joining the firm. 


How does your experience connect with what you currently envision doing with your law degree?

Coming from a background in government, I came to law school to learn more about the intersection of the law and public policy. My summer experience has helped me develop my skills in both areas and shown me more practices where these intersections exist. It has also opened my eyes to other types of work I never had considered or knew could be done as a lawyer. 


Please describe a “typical” workday on the job.

There have been very few “typical” days this summer. The majority of my work comes from two matters, a public policy issue and a private investigation, in which I am “embedded.” But my work has come from a variety of different practice groups and issue areas, allowing me to familiarize myself with parts of the law that I hadn’t touched before.


What is something you learned or experienced that was surprising or particularly compelling during this summer position?

I have really enjoyed getting to know all the legal talent at Steptoe. The firm has a number of lawyers who are at the top of their fields, especially in regulatory practices, managing important clients in consequential matters. Watching them work, talking to them about their experiences, and learning about their practices has taught me a lot about how lawyers and law firms can be successful. 


What are a couple of your key takeaways from the experience so far?

When interviewing for summer positions, something I valued more than just about anything else was the quality of the people. There are plenty of smart, hard-working lawyers in the world, but finding a group that I actually enjoyed spending time with was crucial to me. Steptoe is full of personable and conscientious people, who foster a strong organizational culture. It was great getting to be a part of and contribute to that culture for the summer. 


How has your summer experience compared with your expectations?

Having never worked at a law firm before, I really was not sure what to expect. Whatever my expectations were, however, they were nearly all exceeded. The work, the people, and the experience have all been really interesting and great. 


What advice would you offer another law student thinking about working in a similar position next summer?

Take advantage of the opportunity and don’t overthink it. Summer positions are often viewed as fundamental to a lawyer’s career, leaving a student to internalize some societal pressure about where they end up. It’s important to remember that these positions are ultimately a life experience. A summer position is a great way to try out different areas of the law, learn more about a law firm, or even live somewhere new you may be interested in. 


How are you spending your free time this summer?

Having lived in D.C. prior to law school, it has been great to reconnect with my friends out here and re-explore the city. There are so many good restaurants and bars in the city to try out. I have also taken full advantage of the National Mall and other trails to run and bike on. 


What are you most looking forward to in returning to Minnesota Law this fall?

I am very excited to get back to Minnesota to see family and friends and fall back into the rhythm of school. I am especially looking forward to continuing the work I started last year, specifically with the Racial Justice Law Clinic andMinnesota Law Review