Name and Hometown:
Current and Previous Roles on the Pre-Law Society Board:
I am currently Co-President of the 2014-2015 Board, and I was Vice-President/Recruitment Manager last year.
What are some of your “career highlights” and/or professional goals?
This summer (2014), I worked as a Graduate Recruitment intern at the Hong Kong office of Clifford Chance LLP, a leading international law firm. There, I assisted the Human Resources department with its summer vacation scheme for law students — this was a very unique and exciting position for an undergrad to be in, to have the opportunity to observe interviews and assessments at a "magic circle" firm and see what goes on behind the scenes at HR.
I've also completed an internship with the Office of Public Affairs at the New York State Unified Court System. That experience provided me with wonderful mentors and the invaluable opportunity to observe and conduct informational interviews with New York City judges and their clerks.
And, last summer (2013), I worked at the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility, an incredible not-for-profit that emphasizes conflict resolution, mediation and restorative (as opposed to punitive) approaches in schools. My time with the Morningside Center was incredibly transformative and my summer with them definitely informed how I view issues of justice and public education.
Do you have any advice for other Pre-Law students at Columbia?
I believe in, as far as possible, doing undergraduate internships and gaining work experience across a range of legal environments: the courts, DA's offices, law firms, public interest organizations, and so on. The main point isn't to bolster your CV or law school application, but to help clarify your own interests.
For example, I initially didn’t think that I would ever be interested in corporate practice, but something definitely "clicked" during my summer at Clifford Chance. There, I got to learn about the firm's main practice areas, as well as meet dedicated, driven lawyers who were genuinely interested in their work.
My interest in commercial law, then, has gone from a "no" to a "hey, this is actually quite interesting" — I'd never have known this about myself had I not decided to spend this summer at this firm.
So, definitely, do internships to find out what areas of law you might like, what you don't, and if you even want to be a lawyer (or like hanging out with them!) Law school's too expensive of an investment to jump into without some due diligence.
However, my best and most important piece of advice is... Join the Pre-Law Society! Join our List Serv, come to our meetings, attend our events and run for elections. After all, half the fun of being "pre-law" and exploring this career path is doing it with a group of fun, like-minded friends!
What’s a fun fact about yourself?
I have the magical ability to make entire pints of ice cream disappear. Especially Pineapple Coconut ice cream. Mmmmm...