Show Us Your Summer: Robert Grimmett-Norris & Lauren Rodriguez

July 31, 2014


We invited SLU LAW students with summer internships to share their experiences with us throughout the summer as part of a blog series called "Show Us Your Summer." This week, we hear from rising 3L Robert Grimmett-Norris and rising 2L Lauren Rodriguez.

Robert Grimmett-Norris – Rising 3L

I recently finished my 2L year at SLU LAW, and I’ll start with a bit of background information on myself. I grew up in Herndon, Va., and received my undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ultimately, I decided SLU was the perfect place to shape my legal career and a great opportunity to get off the east coast!

This summer, I am currently a legal intern with the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C. Specifically, I work at the Departmental Appeals Board (DAB) within the Medicare Operations Division. My division is responsible for handling all final administrative appeals of Medicare payment denials. We are the highest level of appeal a beneficiary has access to prior to taking their case to federal court.

From a day-to-day standpoint, my responsibilities have grown throughout the summer. When we first arrived, the interns were primarily responsible for screening what are “Requests for Review” for any procedural deficiencies. These can include everything from a beneficiary or medical equipment supplier’s failure to copy information to the correct party to a parties failure to meet the appeals timing requirements. Once review of the request is complete, if I discover deficiencies with the request, the DAB gives me the independence to handle the request how I see fit. If the issue easily fixed, I am responsible for reaching out to the party and providing them with guidance on how they might fix it. With that being said, if the deficiency cannot be cured, for example a beneficiary files their request for review a year late, I am responsible dismissing the request and drafting the appropriate correspondence. As the summer has progressed, I have also been given the opportunity to draft substantive decisions for review by the Administrative Appeals Judges. While the writing is more technical than I first expected, the work is incredible. Practically, it exposes me to a style of writing I had not seen yet, and I find myself regularly being forced outside of my own comfortable writing style into challenging, fulfilling work.

On another note, the people I work with at the DAB are great. They have such a vast amount of experience outside of what we do on a day-to-day basis. With that being said, it provides me with an incredible resource pool when discussing issues I might be having with my own work.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to work at the DAB this summer. I still cannot believe the summer is coming to a close; my time with the DAB has flown by. The opportunity gives me the chance to learn the intricacies of behind Medicare. The work is continuously challenging and the attorneys are dynamic. I am excited to see how my experience this summer shapes my growth as an attorney moving forward and cannot wait to see what comes next.

Lauren Rodriguez – Rising 2L

I am currently a rising 2L at SLU LAW and I am wrapping up my 11-week Summer Associate program with Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard, P.C. located downtown St. Louis. Before I attended SLU LAW, I received a degree in Applied Health Science with minors in Biology and Psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. I decided to attend SLU based on the amazing healthcare law program that is offered.

I knew coming into law school I wanted to focus on health law. Once I started at Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard, I knew the area of law I was eager to explore, but I was allowed the opportunity to explore all of the firm’s litigation practice areas. This part of the program has opened my eyes to new areas of law that I had never thought about.  

I am currently in the last week of my Summer Associate program. Coming out of my first year I did not have a true understanding of what it actually means to practice law. The program has been an amazing learning experience for me. I have been able to experience so many things here from shadowing depositions, drafting letters to clients and drafting trial briefs, to actually prepping and going to a trial, plus so much in between. 

The program is definitely a change from sitting in the classroom every day and outlining for the big final at the end. It has helped put into perspective of what I am actually working towards in school. I am still learning while I am here but it is so nice to see how my work has contributed to a case.

While working at Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard, I have encountered so many bright, humble and patient attorneys. The people here have helped me grow and develop legal skills. They actually take time to give me feedback about my assignments as well as advice about practical experiences relating to their careers as lawyers. I am grateful for being able to work here and for all of the knowledge I have obtained from the people here.

Show Us Your Summer


Week 1: Priya Gandhi 

Week 2: Bri Baldwin and Eric Albritton

Week 3: Jeanne Marie Evans

Week 4: Lauren Rouse and Jenna Hueneger

Week 5: Andrew Bouquet

Week 6: Marie DeFer and Katie Burke

Week 7: Claire Wiltse and Keri Smith

Week 8: Robert Grimmett-Norris and Lauren Rodriguez


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