When did you participate in the Undergraduate Session Assistants Program or Senate Fellowship?
I participated in the Undergraduate Session Assistants Program during Spring 2015.
Which Senate office were you placed in during your internship?
I was placed in Senator Patrick M. Gallivan’s office.
Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your internship office placement.
As a Session Assistant, I had a wide variety of responsibilities. I performed legislative research on numerous issues, drafted memos on bills, potential legislation and my research findings, and drafted letters to state government agencies, advocacy groups and constituents. Additionally, I maintained our legislative databases, represented the Senator in meetings with advocacy groups and constituents, and answered phone calls. I also had the opportunity to attend Session, committee meetings, and legislative events.
Where are you working now? Briefly describe your responsibilities/day-to-day activities in your current place of employment.
I am currently attending Cornell Law School full-time to obtain my Law Degree. I interned for the Honorable David G. Larimer after my first year of law school and will be a Summer Associate at Nixon Peabody LLP next summer. As a judicial intern, I was responsible for researching various legal issues that arose in ongoing cases and drafting memos on my research findings, as well as drafting memos on cases to identify the relevant facts, issues, arguments, and law for the Judge.
What did you learn from participating in the New York State Senate internship programs that you have been able to carry over to your new position?
My participation in the Session Assistants Program helped sharpen many of the key skills required in the legal field. I was fortunate enough to be placed in an office where both my supervisor and the Senate Fellow had attended law school and were admitted to the Bar. As a result, I received a lot of substantive feedback that allowed me to hone my writing and research skills in ways that later helped me be successful in law school and will help me be successful as a lawyer.
Additionally, having so many responsibilities as a Session Assistant required me to improve my time management skills and learn how to prioritize certain responsibilities over others while still getting everything done in a timely fashion. Not only were these skills important for my transition to law school, but they will be particularly relevant for my future legal career, where I will have a myriad of assignments of various significance at any given time, all with different deadlines that must be met.
Finally, being exposed to constituents and advocacy groups on a daily basis through phone calls and representing the Senator in meetings helped improve my public speaking skills and comfort level with thinking on my feet. These skills will be vital to my legal career, especially because I want to litigate cases in court, which requires strong public speaking skills and the ability to adequately answer questions or make arguments off the cuff when an unforeseen issue arises or things do not go as planned.