Rutgers Students Find Summer Positions Challenging and Rewarding
Natalae Anderson ’11: Researching the forced marriages of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge
I’m spending my summer in Phnom Penh, Cambodia as a legal intern with the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam). DC-Cam collects and preserves important historical documents concerning the Communist Party of Kampuchea, popularly known as the Khmer Rouge.
As the official government from 1975-1979, the Khmer Rouge instituted radical agrarian reform which led to widespread starvation. The Khmer Rouge used extreme social policies including the killing of the intelligentsia and the torture and murder of anyone who did not follow orders. It is estimated that two million Cambodians died under the regime. The Khmer Rouge also systematically arranged marriages between men and women, often without their consent.
I have been researching the incidence of forced marriage and whether it is a crime against humanity. My legal memo will be disseminated to the international community and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, a hybrid tribunal created by the UN and the local government and tasked with trying senior Khmer Rouge leaders for domestic crimes and crimes under international law. I have also participated in other programs run by the Center such as genocide education training for teachers and the Victim Participation Team, where I traveled with DC-Cam staff to villages and interviewed survivors of forced marriage.
As a past Peace Corps volunteer in China, I strongly believe in ensuring that people throughout the world are afforded peace, equality and respect for their human dignity. My work this summer exemplifies this belief.
Philip Voss ’12: Two positions, both reinforce decision to become a lawyer
I began this summer continuing my internship with the Hon. William L’E Wertheimer, a Civil Division judge in Elizabeth, New Jersey. For my final month I was lucky enough to watch a trial from jury selection to verdict, and sat in on chambers when the Judge discussed various complications with counsel.
After completing my internship, I started my summer law clerk position as the Charles J. Walsh Scholar with the Newark-based law firm Sills Cummis & Gross P.C. At Sills, I’ve been directly involved with a broad spectrum of corporate and litigation matters, working with partners and associates on topics ranging from invalidating irrevocable trusts, to situations where evidence is obtainable from prosecutors in grand jury investigations. As a summer-long project at Sills, and under the guidance of a member of the firm, I’ve been working on a fascinating question for the Anti-Defamation League concerning the separation of church and state. At the end of the clerkship, I plan on presenting my findings to lawyers from the firm, the League, and the law firm Riker Danzig.
Overall, this summer has been unbelievably rewarding. I’ve been directly involved in the field of law which prompted me to enter law school, and I’ve been lucky enough to meet talented and dedicated attorneys, who’ve done nothing but reinforce my decision to become a lawyer. Read more about Philip Voss.
Eliza Nagel ’11: Working at the UN to advance global peace
Attending a debate in the UN General Assembly on the appropriate response to a humanitarian crisis is a thrilling experience for a law student considering a career in international public interest. This summer I was honored to receive a Rutgers’ Public Interest Law Foundation grant that enabled me to work for Global Action to Prevent War, a UN-affiliated consortium that seeks ways to end international conflict and genocide. I spent a fascinating 10 weeks involved in several compelling projects.
As well as observing UN meetings and attending Security Council debates, I participated in the NGO Working Group for Women, Peace and Security — an organization formed to aid implementation of Resolutions 1325 and 1820. As part of this group that aims to strengthen women’s role in the prevention and resolution of conflict, I drafted research reports on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) involving female combatants in conflict areas. This research will be used for advocacy in the full implementation of these resolutions.
Having the chance to work at the UN this summer, surrounded by others committed to human rights, has strengthened my resolve to use my law degree to work toward international peace.
Sean Mullen ’11: Juggling firm experience and Law Review responsibilities
My summer has been busy, but also very enjoyable. I’m working at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in New York as a summer associate and also serving as the editor-in-chief of the Rutgers Law Review. Most of my time at Cleary has been devoted to a lawsuit involving allegations of material support for a terrorist group, but I’ve also been able to work on various pro bono and transactional matters.
The work has been much more interesting than anything I would have expected to do at a large Wall Street firm. I’ve been struck by the amount of research and organization that goes into everything the firm produces, and I’ve tried to apply that same diligence and efficiency to my own work for the Law Review.
Most nights and weekends find me hunched over my computer writing emails or taking the train into Newark to hold meetings to get everything ready for the coming year. Things are little easier now that we’ve selected our staff, but I find myself looking forward to the time when the entire membership will be in one place and we’re able to develop a routine.
I try to spend the few free moments I have reminding my fiancé that I’m still alive and haven’t been completely swallowed by the law. Some weeks I’m more successful than others.
Maritza Rodriguez ’11: Honing advocacy skills in San Francisco
This summer I’ve had the chance to expand my advocacy skills through an amazing internship with one of the most talented city law departments in the nation — the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office.
This internship gave me an opportunity to work on a broad range of issues within a progressive environment. Working with the Transportation Team I got to assist Deputy City Attorneys draft statutes and regulations, giving me an inside view into city governance and public policy initiatives. Additionally, through assisting City Attorneys prepare for committee meetings and write opinion letters for the Board of Supervisors and the Transportation Department, I learned how different areas of law such as contracts, immigration, employment, and constitutional law all intersect on a daily basis.
Throughout the summer I made friends with interns from all over the country and met and worked alongside attorneys who have been part of some of the city’s most pioneering public interest litigation. Also, I helped put our school on the map as the first intern from Rutgers School of Law–Newark!
Ione Curva ’12: A desire to help domestic violence survivors is strengthened
I have been interning at Sanctuary for Families, which is the largest non profit in New York that provides services to domestic violence survivors. I work at the Bronx Family Justice Center, a collaborative center (under the Mayor’s Office) that houses various organizations that serve domestic violence survivors.
As a legal intern I’ve gotten to work on family law cases, matrimonial law cases, and immigration matters. I’ve drafted various legal documents, done legal research and written legal memoranda, accompanied our attorneys to court, and worked with clients directly.
My experience this summer has solidified my intent to work in public interest after I graduate from law school, and particularly to work with domestic violence survivors. While this work is incredibly challenging, I feel a personal and professional duty to do the best work I can, given all that our clients have endured.
Rocky Kaushik ’12: An immersion in Indian law and culture
The time I spent this summer working at an Indian law firm was very satisfying experience. I went to India to learn Indian law and work culture. I also wanted to live “the Indian experience” complete with elephants, loud, honking streets, and a belly full of dysentery. The experience certainly lived up to my expectations.
The work I received at J. Sagar Associates, a top Indian law firm, was both interesting and challenging. One of the many projects I worked on was writing an explanatory paper for western law firms wishing to outsource to India. I also researched and created a negotiation seminar for senior executives of HAL (India’s Boeing) — skills I applied when negotiating for mangoes on the street. My most challenging assignment was investigating defense treaties between the U.S. and India to discover American requirements for an Indian company wishing to procure an industrial part, apparently often used to make chemical weapons.
The partners I worked with were fun and instructive. They guided me through the differences between U.S. and Indian law. For example, contracts with past considerations are enforceable.
The partners also helped me discover the local cultural fixtures – Bangalore has a great rock scene. I rented a scooter to ride through the streets, elephants and all, and zipped from galleries to rock concerts to roadside restaurants. I even got to safari through some of India’s forests and I got my first view of wild elephants and bison. Unfortunately, that trip ended with street food resulting in a couple of days off with my new best friend, Pepto Bismol. At least my trip to India was complete!
Sarah Garvey-Potvin ’11: Firm gives exposure to diverse practice areas, pro bono work
As a summer associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, located in midtown Manhattan, I have experienced the life of an associate at a major New York law firm. The work has been varied and exciting, with Debevoise making sure that assignments pertain to your interests, are team-oriented and substantive.
Among other things, I’ve worked on a securities litigation case, researched rule-making authority and helped develop a proposal for a new rule in the New York Code of Professional Responsibility, attended hearings in criminal court, worked with a team on a 363 Sale of a company, and drafted trial briefs for two pro-bono immigration cases. Debevoise has exposed me to many practice areas by organizing practice briefings, trainings, and social events to talk with attorneys about their focus areas and experience.
As a testament to its commitment to pro-bono work, Debevoise offers a two-week internship at a public interest organization during the summer. I will be doing my public interest stint at MFY Legal Services in downtown Manhattan.
Jeffery Young, Jr. ’11: Facilitating daycare options for low-income Philadelphians
Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, Inc. is a non-profit law firm that provides free legal representation in civil matters to low-income Philadelphians. I have been assigned to the Community Economic Development Unit where most of my work is with the Child Care Law Project that provides legal counsel to non-profit and low-income child care providers who wish to start up or expand their child care business.
I assist clients with every step of the process. I make sure they are in compliance with all local and state regulations regarding child care services, including passing health, food safety, and fire inspections. I also apply for zoning permits and help represent clients before the Zoning Board of Adjustment to request variances for the use and occupancy of buildings. I submit evidence including the number of children clients plan to have at the facility, building floor plans and architectural designs, the qualifications of the client to run a daycare, and most important, letters of support from the local community organization and city council person.
Another aspect of my job involves advising clients on the appropriate business structure for their child care service and negotiating lease agreements. I offer advice on tax and liability issues and prepare and file applications for business licenses, articles of incorporation, and other requisite filings related to the incorporation of non-profit and for-profit entities.
Yael Bromberg ’11: Well-prepared for civil rights and employment law cases in LA
This summer I am working as a law clerk in Los Angeles at Hadsell Stormer Keeny Richardson & Renick LLP, one of the largest and oldest civil rights and employment law firms in the country. I am helping to write a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on the constitutional right to informational privacy in Government background investigations of low risk workers.
In addition, I am working on a class action challenging prison conditions; a case related to environmental justice concerns; a sexual harassment and sexual orientation harassment case in an employment context; and more. I am truly grateful to be gaining substantive litigation experience in public interest law.
The best thing about the experience is the firm’s innovative approach to creating and sustaining a private law firm model that focuses exclusively on public interest litigation. This has been a great and educational summer job, and I am thankful to Rutgers Law School and the Constitutional Litigation Clinic for preparing me for it. Read more about Yael Bromberg.
Jorge A. Sanchez ’12: Helping kids in immigration proceedings
I was accepted into the Summer Internship Program of the American Friends Service Committee to assist KIND Fellow attorney, Barbara Camacho (Kids In Need of Defense). The children’s project aims to provide legal representation to unaccompanied minors up to age 21 in immigration proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review and in New Jersey Family Court when necessary.
I assisted in drafting several immigration applications, briefs in support of custody petitions, and certifications. I had the opportunity to attend custody hearings in Family Court and master calendar hearings before the Immigration Court. I will never forget the people of AFSC!