New Voices for Justice
It’s that time of year again, when we welcome summer interns to NYLAG. This annual program, now in its 21st year, provides gifted law students and undergraduates with hands-on experience representing clients in court, negotiating with opposing counsel, and arguing before a judge. Interns also conduct client intakes, developing skills in legal research, writing briefs and preparing case documentation. Each intern is supervised and mentored by a NYLAG attorney.
There are 68 students in the 2016 Summer Intern Class, from over 20 law schools and universities working with staff members in a broad range of practice areas including Elder Law, Consumer Protection, LegalHealth, Family Law, Storm Response, Tenants’ Rights, Immigrant Protection, Total Life Choices, Special Education, Employment Law, Mediation and Special Litigation.
We asked several interns when they first realized they wanted to become a lawyer. Their answers are indicative of the passion and commitment that they will soon bring to their legal careers.
Brooklyn Law School ’18
“There was no lightning strike. I think a lot of people around me knew I was going into law long before I did. When I first gushed to a childhood friend about ”˜discovering’ law, she offered a resounding, ”˜Duh. When other people were passing notes back and forth in the 6th grade, you would write me notes, like, do you believe in the death penalty, circle yes/no and explain why.’ I have no memory of this, but it sounds like me.”
Michael Del Priore
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law ”˜18
“My father became totally and permanently disabled and the health insurance he had through his job denied his claim. He worked with a wonderful disability attorney who went the extra mile to help win back his benefits. Without her skill and dedication, my family would have fallen into a financial catastrophe. I hope to bring the same level of care and commitment to my clients when I am an attorney.”
NYU School of Law ”˜18
“I don’t think there was one specific moment, but I can certainly say that the strongest moments of epiphany that I had were once I was already in law school, funny enough. Not to mention countless moments of pure thrill attending class with some of the best professors I’ve ever had. I was one of the wide-eyed, optimistic 0Ls who thought that being a lawyer was such a privilege: to have the ability to help an individual or an entity navigate the incredibly complex world that is the legal system was something I wanted to be a part of. And law school, despite the challenges, has done nothing but confirm all of that.”
Columbia Law School ”˜18
My father had early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and passed away when I was a junior in college. Growing up, we didn’t have much in the way of money or knowledge about the healthcare system, and every step of my dad’s disease was a battle with either the insurance companies or the government. My mother raised my sister and me, taught hundreds of students, and each day came home to a stack of bills and endless advocacy over the phone just to get basic services for my dad. She inspired me to enter the law so that I could fight to make the system work better for the people who it’s meant to serve.”