Substantive Work, Exciting Assignments Typify Summer Jobs for These Law Students
Seorim Hong ’13: SEC internship provides inimitable opportunity
Prior to matriculating at Rutgers School of Law–Newark last fall, I worked at Citigroup Inc., Corporate and Investment Banking in New York, and Millennium Partners, L.P., a multi-strategy hedge fund. With over four years of work experience in the industry, the opportunity to work at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Division of Investment Management’s Office of Chief Counsel in Washington, D.C. as a Summer Honors Law Program intern was truly an inimitable opportunity.
As a first-year law student with an interest in securities enforcement and regulation generally, and Title IV of the Dodd-Frank Act specifically, to be at the SEC this summer was an unrivaled experience and a tremendous learning opportunity.
In addition, the 10-week internship this summer has reinforced my passion for and commitment to pursue opportunities during the academic year, and perhaps post-graduation, in investment management practices. Starting this fall, I will be joining SEC Division of Enforcement’s Asset Management Unit in its New York regional office. Having been exposed to the rule-making side at the SEC’s home office this summer, I am very much looking forward to gaining exposure to the enforcement side of things.
Craig Dashiell ’13: A high caliber of work and welcoming environment
I spent my summer working as a summer associate at Lowenstein Sandler PC in Roseland, NJ. I was put in contact with Lowenstein through Rutgers’ Minority Student Program, and had the opportunity to experience life at a major New Jersey law firm. Lowenstein provided me with a lot of freedom to choose work that I was interested in, and offered a support network of associates to aid in my professional development.
I used this summer to gain exposure to as many different practice areas as possible. Among other things, I drafted a brief point for a copyright infringement case, wrote a memo about the liability of subsequent land owners under toxic tort laws, and researched whether certain claims made insurance contracts violate New Jersey’s public policy. In addition, Lowenstein provided “lunch and learns” throughout the summer where the heads of different departments would meet with us to break down how their respective groups actually operated.
Lowenstein truly goes out of its way to create a welcoming environment and provides a caliber of work that will make you a better lawyer. From day one I was assigned a buddy, mentor, and senior contact to ease my transition and periodically check in on me throughout the summer. Everyone, from the partners on down, was genuinely interested in getting to know me, and I enjoyed interacting with them during social events. Working at Lowenstein was definitely a rewarding experience and I am thankful to Rutgers and MSP for preparing me for it.
Jessica Selecky ’12: Diverse practice areas experienced on two continents
My 12 weeks as a summer associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton were a fantastic opportunity and learning experience. Both the diversity of work assignments available to summer associates and Cleary’s great international reach made this summer an amazing experience.
Over the summer, I had the chance to work in every practice area that interested me. I worked on a securities deal, an estate planning project, a contract litigation, two international arbitration assignments, and a large white-collar enforcement case. I was also lucky enough to be part of a pro bono civil rights litigation team throughout the entire summer.
There was no make-work at Cleary. I received real, substantive work — including attending and drafting summaries of witness interviews and drafting portions of a brief for a case in a federal court of appeals. The people I worked with were extraordinary without exception and I received meaningful, thoughtful feedback on my contributions.
In addition to my time at Cleary’s New York City office in lower Manhattan, I also spent four weeks of my summer at Cleary’s office in Paris, France. I saw what life was like as an American associate in Paris and I was able to evaluate whether I would be interested in doing a longer term overseas office rotation as an associate at Cleary.
I really enjoyed my experience in both the Paris and NYC offices and look forward to returning to Cleary as an associate next fall.
Lauren Garcia ’13: Challenging assignments and helpful feedback as intern to federal judge
This summer, I served as a judicial intern to the Honorable Jose L. Linares, a Federal District Judge here in Newark, New Jersey. While there, I was fortunate enough to observe a high-publicity criminal trial involving a New Jersey public official who had been arrested in 2009 as part of a federal public corruption investigation. I watched the trial from jury selection to verdict, and researched and prepared a bench memo for the Judge relating to a discrete issue of the law.
In addition to observing a wide variety of several other civil and criminal proceedings before Judge Linares, I also observed oral arguments before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. However, my internship also involved a great deal of legal research and writing. One of my most exciting assignments was the bench memo that I prepared for Judge Linares relating to the appropriate sanctions for persons who violate a condition of their release prior to a bail revocation hearing.
Another valuable aspect of my judicial internship was being able to work closely with the Judge’s clerks and receive valuable guidance and feedback on all of my assignments. I would have never anticipated being asked to draft an opinion for the Judge, but with the clerk’s guidance, I completed my most substantive, challenging assignment. Overall, my summer experience has been extremely exciting and has sparked my interest in applying for a federal clerkship in the future.
Jeffrey Chang, ’12: Historic time at Lambda Legal Fair Courts Project
As an intern with Lambda Legal, the nation’s oldest legal organization dedicated to advancing the rights of the LGBT and HIV-affected community, I was thrilled to be working during such an historic time in our movement — exemplified by the landmark passage of marriage equality in New York in June. Lambda’s Fair Courts Project fosters an impartial and independent judiciary, paving the way for successful litigation and policy efforts and combating anti-court backlash.
I worked with advocates and judges from across the country on issues such as judicial retention threats, increasing LGBT diversity on the bench, and judicial recusal issues. This experience empowered me to examine all aspects of the legal and policy work that goes into modern-day civil rights movements.
Much of my time at Lambda involved working with advocates in Iowa on anti-court backlash following the Iowan Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage. After that decision, three Supreme Court justices were voted off the bench and accused of “legislating from the bench.” Another case I worked on extensively involved the attempt to recuse federal judge Vaughn Walker, who ruled in the California Prop-8 trial, because of his sexual orientation. One of my favorite projects involved developing a pilot program that creates a “pipeline” to the judiciary for openly-LGBT attorneys.
Throughout the summer I worked on amicus briefs, conducted legal and legislative research, and organized communities to develop strategies to ensure that everyday people understand the role and importance of the court system in safeguarding our rights.
John Burzynski ’12: Appellate work in the Bergen County Prosecutor’s office
I had the privilege of working at the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office this summer. As a member of the Appellate Section, I researched the criminal code and case law, authored briefs, and argued motions in court. I dealt with a number of issues, including motions to dismiss charges, suppress evidence, appeal convictions, and expunge records in matters ranging from driving while intoxicated to sexual assault and official misconduct.
I worked with an exceptional team of prosecutors and interns, each committed to protecting the public and bringing criminals to justice. I enjoyed my work and learned a great deal while putting the theory and skills I have developed at Rutgers into practice.
Nicole Johnson ’12: Legal Services fellowship reinforces public interest law commitment
This summer I was a Deborah T. Poritz Public Interest Law Fellow at Legal Services of New Jersey at their office in Edison. LSNJ provides civil legal services to low-income residents of New Jersey. They also do major impact advocacy as well as policy analysis addressing poverty and its causes.
As a fellow, I did work in many of the different practice areas, such as family law, housing, immigration, consumer protection, worker’s rights and prisoner re-entry. Not only was I able to hone my research, writing and advocacy skills in each of these projects, but it also gave me the opportunity to explore new areas of law.
Learning about so many different areas of law this summer was an amazing experience. It was also a very eye-opening one. There is tremendous need out there, which is only exacerbated by the difficult economic times we are living in right now.
Working at Legal Services this summer has strengthened my resolve to become a public interest lawyer so that I can be an advocate for people in times when they need one the most.
Nari Wang ’13: Two Different Jobs Equal One Very Valuable Summer
This summer, I spent six weeks as a judicial intern for the Honorable Julio M. Fuentes of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals where I was able to observe the entire appellate process, from day one when the briefs were dropped off in chambers, to the writing of the final opinion. I also had the opportunity to draft several non-precedential opinions on both civil and criminal matters. Since Judge Fuentes’ chambers were in the Martin Luther King federal courthouse here in Newark, I attended a number of court proceedings in the district court, including sentencing and various civil motions. I was also invited to a sitting in Philadelphia where I had the chance to observe oral arguments on a number of cases, and participate in discussion with Judge Fuentes in chambers.
In the second half of my summer, I worked as a summer law clerk at Sills Cummis & Gross as the recipient of their Charles Walsh Scholarship. I assisted in a number of projects, from researching and drafting articles for publication to preparing a memo for the Anti-Defamation League discussing a cutting edge constitutional issue. I also participated in several in-house seminars on various practice areas and even had the chance to accompany a top partner to court for oral arguments on a Motion to Dismiss.
These experiences offered very different yet valuable insight into the practice of law. It was a tremendous learning experience and I was grateful to have had both opportunities.
Daniella Fischetti ’12: Researching issues in art and cultural heritage law
I spent the past summer interning at the International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR), an educational research organization dedicated to integrity in the visual arts. IFAR, a collaboration of attorneys and art historians, provides resources that help the public make informed decisions about the legal, ethical, and scholarly issues concerning the collection and exhibition of art. The resources provided include a catalogue raisonné, a provenance guide, an international cultural property law database, and a case summary collection.
I helped to continue IFAR’s mission by researching and publishing summaries of recent cases related to art law and tracking updates in legal proceedings relevant to the art world. The cases include disputes over collection management, forfeiture and seizure of imported works, improper artist attribution, and moral rights of artists. Additionally, I contacted cultural embassies to secure legislation related to cultural property and provided legislative analysis for our online database.
I learned about IFAR while completing my Masters in International Art Crimes and Museum Security last summer in Italy. While interning at IFAR, an important resource in the art and cultural heritage law context, I experienced firsthand that the trend of law protecting artists, art works, and owners — whether individuals, organizations, or countries — indicates an increased appreciation for cultural and artistic traditions.
Erin Phalon ’12: Learning environmental law and nonprofit administration
As an intern at the Sierra Club Environmental Law Program in Washington, D.C., I had the opportunity to perform legal research and draft memoranda, comments and motions associated with the organization’s Clean Air Act litigation. I worked on a variety of matters in areas included regulatory development and proceedings governing energy company mergers. This internship enabled me to develop valuable skills and experience in environmental litigation and to learn a great deal about energy law, energy generation, administrative law and the Clean Air Act. In addition, it enabled me to learn more about the practice of public interest law and nonprofit administration. My internship at the Sierra Club Environmental Law Program also allowed me to improve my research practices and writing skills.
Finally, my experience this summer enabled me to receive direction, guidance and mentorship from experienced attorneys in the field of environmental law. I am thankful to have received a Public Interest Law Foundation grant in support of my work at the Sierra Club. The skills and knowledge that I developed this summer will be a great asset as I pursue a career as an attorney.
Tim D’Arduini ’12: Corporate and pro bono client work at international firm
As a summer associate at Baker & McKenzie LLP in Washington, D.C., I learned an incredible amount about what life as a full-time lawyer was like at a huge, international law firm. The partners and associates I worked with really trusted me to complete dynamic, complex work for their corporate and pro bono clients, including drafting a federal district court complaint, administrative agency appeals, and memos on changes in other countries’ immigration laws and on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Most notably, I assisted with the drafting of a pre-trial brief, as well as the trial preparation of the attorneys arguing a defensive asylum case for a Congolese national in front of an immigration judge in Baltimore, Maryland. That pro bono matter, as well as brainstorming, researching, and writing about potential rules of evidence for an international piracy court really made my summer an awesome experience.
In addition to work, I spent a lot time preparing for and training new staff, as well as editing articles as the new senior managing editor of the Rutgers Law Review.
I was also one of the main organizers of one of DC’s largest young professional political fundraisers of the summer. We helped raise nearly $20,000 for Congresswoman and likely Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). If elected, she’d be the first female senator in the state’s history and the first openly LGBTQ senator in our nation’s history!