Jude Raia Successfully Completes Graffeo Law Internship During McCallie’s Tornado Term

Jude Raia Successfully Completes Graffeo Law Internship During McCallie’s Tornado Term

February 13, 2020 – Graffeo Law, LLC welcomed Jude Raia from Birmingham, Alabama this month as the firm’s first legal intern.  Raia is a senior at McCallie School, a college-preparatory school located in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  In the popular “Tornado Term,” McCallie students spend nine intensive days of non-traditional, hands-on, experiential learning.  In 2020, for the first time, McCallie’s seniors left the confines of campus during Tornado Term to serve in internships in their respective areas of career interest across the United States and abroad.  Raia, who is considering a career in the legal professions, sought an internship placement at Graffeo Law to gain a broader understanding of what life is like on a day-to-day basis of a practicing attorney.

During his internship, Raia performed research, helped prepare legal documents, assisted with office administration, toured the Jefferson County Courthouse and visited civic functions.  Graffeo Law founding attorney V. J. Graffeo also brought Raia as a guest to his undergraduate legal studies class at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Collat School of Business.  “I think I learned just as much having Jude around as he may have learned hanging out with me this month,” Graffeo remarked.  “I consider Jude’s internship not only an opportunity to educate a potential future lawyer about the industry, but also as a way to showcase working in Birmingham.  A few years from now, Jude will be making  a decision where to begin his career.  Both the legal profession and Birmingham have much to offer and I hope Jude and students in his position will consider returning to Alabama after schooling.”

As part of his Tornado Term internship, Raia wrote the following summary of his experience:

In early February, my high-school, the McCallie School, required that I spend two weeks working at an internship so that I would have somewhat of an idea of my career path going into college. McCallie takes this break in the middle of our schedule to let students learn about something they want to learn about instead of the required subjects, like math or English. This helps break through the monotony of February and lets students grow excited during this typically depressing season. Although I knew I wanted to look down the path of medicine, and I had always heard incredibly good things about practicing law from close family and friends. So, I reached out to V. J. Graffeo and asked if I could work as his intern during the 2020 Tornado Term, to learn what it is like behind-the-scenes of a courtroom. Mr. Graffeo accepted this proposal and we began to develop a logistical plan for the internship.

I fully expected to do menial tasks like sweeping floors, or getting coffee, but Mr. Graffeo allowed me to work with him researching cases and helping him plan his schedule. I was able to experience what working as a lawyer is really like. I helped him organize medical charts and assisted in a case involving a missed plane and delayed luggage. I sat in on his classes at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and we went to a few networking lunches where I met lawyers and doctors who spend time trying to make Birmingham the best city it can be. At the end of the internship, I had a newfound melancholic sense going into the final leg of my senior year in high-school because I realized that I need to focus more on spending time with my friends and loved ones before college and felt much more confident in my choice for a career. 

Graffeo Law intern and McCallie School senior Jude Raia tours Presiding Judge Joseph Boohaker’s courtroom in the Jefferson County, Alabama Courthouse.

Jude, it was nice to have you at Graffeo Law!


Since 2016, Graffeo Law, LLC has served clients across Alabama in the areas of civil litigation and business law.  For more information, visit the firm’s website at www.graffeolaw.com.