CDCI Internships: My Legal Internship

During my time at the Broome County District Attorney’s Office, I gained many integral skills for pursuing a career in law. I hope to secure a legal assistant or paralegal position in the greater New York City metropolitan area, and this position will allow me to discuss the tools necessary for work in a law office. 

My experience granted me both technical and soft skills: More technically, I will carry over the efficient use of Microsoft Outlook, a tool utilized in many law offices. In terms of soft skills, I now can communicate with legal terminology that I learned in the classroom and through this internship. Understanding the differences among courts across the country and how they operate differently has helped me to map out the most relevant tasks to accomplish daily. Finally, working with a diverse team of individuals strengthened my collaborative abilities and taught me what it takes to be successful in a legal or governmental career. 

In addition to expanding my contact range within the industry for future opportunities and references, I have expanded my knowledge of work in this field. In terms of my career goals, this internship has greatly propelled me forward rather than motivated me to reconsider. I was able to better understand important next steps and the type of investment I plan on making in law school. The informational interview I conducted helped clarify this greatly, as I was able to discuss an Assistant District Attorney’s path through law school and how she made her decisions, many of which resonated with me and will be used in my own decision-making processes.

I’ve learned that I should not view a law school’s reputation as my highest criteria, and now seek to attend a school that will maximize my learning experience, regardless of the name. Standards for my professional decisions will now include how well they impact my personal development, as well. Therefore, I’m willing to be flexible in my career exploration process so as to prioritize my happiness and sense of fulfillment. If I do not get into a law school that fits my criteria, I may not attend at all and find a new career path. An alternate path could be to use my economics major to enter the sports business world, as I already possess strong connections in the fantasy sports industry. 

Lastly, I want to discuss how my internship has both fulfilled and fallen short of my NACE career competencies. I have become much better at reducing the slur in my words and speaking more confidently, which is very valuable heading into my future employment and education. Also, related to career management, I have been able to network with my colleagues at the office and create relationships that I can utilize going forward in my career development journey. 

However, I think that I may have fallen short in strengthening my critical thinking and problem solving skills. During my internship, I worked with fewer departments than I expected to and generally received very similar tasks each day. I feel as though I could have been challenged more if I was exposed to more departments within the Broome County District Attorney’s Office. Looking back, I realize it could have been helpful to take some initiative and ask for greater exposure. Instead of regretting this decision, I can remind myself in my next internship or job that this is something I can do and it will help me develop the skills I seek.

By Stephen Wolf
Stephen Wolf