July 1, 2021

Rutgers Law students are participating in a variety of innovative and challenging internships this summer at locations throughout the New York City and Philadelphia metropolitan areas.

Hear in their own words what some of our student interns are doing this summer. 

Samira Barnes RLAW '23

"I am currently interning for Federal Magistrate Judge Sherry R. Fallon in the District of Delaware. So far I have learned the absolute importance of law clerks to the function of a court. In federal court, each judge gets to see a variety of cases allowing the clerk to gain research and writing experience in different fields. Delaware is also known for the high volume of intellectual property cases, but clerks also deal with civil rights, product liability, prisoner petitions, and other civil matters. More specifically, this summer I have been able to work on civil rights and product liability cases learning more about choice of law and motions to dismiss. This opportunity helped solidify my interest in becoming a clerk after graduating! The best part about Rutgers Law is the people and the student organizations! I have met people of all different ages, backgrounds, and goals helping to broaden my educational horizons. On top of the people, we have a student organization for everyone. I have found a student group for each of my identities helping to build a comfortable environment."

Gabriella Greenhoward RLAW '23

"This summer, I am participating in a dual program. For the first half of the summer, I was a Legal Intern at Cullen and Dykman. Now, I will be interning for the General Counsel at New Jersey American Water. This has been an incredible summer opportunity because I have been able to work on research and writing assignments from multiple practice areas at the firm and get a chance to be immersed in the in-house experience. Working at Cullen and Dykman and New Jersey American Water has helped me advance my research and writing skills, delve into new legal areas, and learn more about the practical aspects of legal work. My favorite part of Rutgers Law is the community. Even virtually, I have felt so connected to my professors and peers during the most academically challenging endeavor of my life. I have grown so much over the past year, and I am proud to be a part of the Rutgers Law Family!"

Erin Hills RLAW '22

"This summer I am interning for the United States Department of Justice, Civil Division, in the Environmental Tort Litigation Section through the DOJ’s SLIP program. The Environmental Tort Litigation Section defends the United States in complex litigation related to alleged exposure to environmental contaminants. The litigation can involve hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of plaintiffs nationwide in federal court. I am finding environmental torts to be interesting because the work involves several of my favorite law school classes: torts, property, and environmental law, as well as some of my undergraduate education in chemistry. I am honored to be working (remotely) with talented attorneys and support staff this summer at DOJ. There is something extraordinary about being part of the team that represents the United States of America. Rutgers has given me a top-rate legal education at an unbeatable price. I decided to go to law school after working in the technology industry for five years and I knew I wanted to go to a local school with a strong reputation for public service. My professors are renowned experts in their fields but are also approachable and down-to-earth. My peers contribute to the law school’s environment of collegiality and service. I couldn’t ask for more!"

Marcus Jones RLAW '23

"I am a 1L Summer Scholar at Pfizer Inc. in their Environmental Law and Sustainability Group. Every day I am exposed to different legal issues Pfizer deals with at their research and manufacturing sites here in the United States and globally. Currently I am working with my manager and the rest of the group to determine what legal challenges the company would have to address in order to meet the goals set out by the Biden Administration at the beginning of 2021. Working in-house has also given me the opportunity to be exposed to various legal areas that I had not previously considered such as intellectual property or health care law. This summer at Pfizer has helped me improve my critical thinking, as well as my research and writing skills which will allow me to become a productive summer associate at a law firm next summer. The faculty at Rutgers Law has played a large role in my career up to this point.  The Minority Student Program (MSP) has provided me with multiple resources that have helped me get to the position I am in now. Dean Douglas has offered advice at multiple points throughout my time here that has allowed me to better work towards my career goals. Through MSP I have met multiple attorneys in different practice areas that I am able to reach out to and ask questions regarding my career path. MSP has been the most important and favorite part of Rutgers Law."

Lisa Laffend RLAW '22

"I am a Maida Summer Public Interest Fellow at the Senior Law Center in Philadelphia. I am working in the Homeownership Rights Unit and my work so far has centered primarily around 'Tangled Title' cases, where an individual does not actually have title to the house they have been living in and maintaining, as well as probate issues. A portion of my time at Senior Law Center is also spent staffing their Helpline which covers a variety of issues. After I graduate, I would like to work at a nonprofit with the disabled community. My work at the Senior Law Center is helping me towards that goal, as many issues faced by the elderly and the areas of law they involve, overlap with the disabled population, such as housing, guardianship and other issues of autonomy, and public benefits. The courses offered at Rutgers Law have also helped me towards my goal. With course offerings such as the Special Education Law Seminar, Disability Law, and Poverty Law, I have had the ability to shape my educational career to reflect the professional career I aspire for. On top of the course offerings, I have had the privilege of working on several of the law school’s pro bono programs, such as the Planning Estates Project, the Honorable J. H. Wizmur Bankruptcy Pro Bono Project, Citizenship Rutgers, the Voters’ Rights Project, and the Rutgers Volunteer Income Tax Return location. Through these projects I have had the opportunity to engage with and serve my community while having the satisfaction of applying what I have learned in class to help others. The wide variety of projects and programs and the deep connection to the surrounding community is by far my favorite part of Rutgers Law."

Leonard Lancaster RLAW '23

"This summer I’ve been able to work with Pepsi in-house counsel on issues in employment law, privacy law, and most importantly, human rights. PepsiCo has given me a great opportunity to explore different areas of law. My ultimate goal is to go into civil rights law, so the work I’ve done in the human rights department at PepsiCo has been incredibly rewarding. One of the reasons I came to law school was to become a civil rights attorney and work on behalf of the disenfranchised. I firmly believe that our lives are not our own; they instead belong to the weak, the vulnerable, the disenfranchised, and I have an obligation to make sure I’m supporting them through legal advocacy. I love the people that I’ve met at Rutgers. Everything from professors to lifelong friends. My law school experience has been shaped by the connections and relationships I’ve had the opportunity to form."

Oleh Matviyishyn RLAW '22

"I am a Summer Associate at Sills Cummis & Gross. Working at Sills Cummis & Gross this summer I was able to get hands-on experience in corporate law, and get a taste of law firm life. I worked on drafting corporate documents, writing legal memoranda, and conducting due diligence. At Sills, I learned the importance of meticulousness and detail-oriented work in the legal field first-hand and was also able to improve my research and writing skills. Through my conversations with the various attorneys at the firm, I saw the benefits of networking and how crucial it is in the industry. The people and community at Rutgers Law are unmatched. Everyone tries to help each other succeed, no matter what one’s background is or what their ambitions are. It is impressive how connected everyone is, whether it be in person or virtual. Rutgers also provides many opportunities in both the private and public legal sectors, and has a staff of renowned experts in their fields that only want to aid students in becoming the best attorneys they can be. One thing that I would add is that after undergrad and law school, I’ve experienced that Rutgers is very much a “you get what you put in” institution. There is a lot offered and the faculty and staff will go out of their way to help you, but nothing is handed to you. You have to take initiative and seek out opportunities that are available through the school, and beyond, for you to have a truly valuable law school experience."

Moira McDaid RLAW '22

"This summer I am a judicial intern for United States District Judge Renée Marie Bumb RLAW '87, the District of New Jersey, working on her prisoner litigation claims. (Attached is a photo of my swearing-in on May 25. It was an exciting day since the courts had just reopened, and I was able to meet her in person.). I was excited for this opportunity because it is not only providing invaluable legal writing experience, but it is also allowing me to pursue my interest in prisoners’ rights. Being in the courtroom, watching trials and proceedings in person, and exposure to the various legal roles, have been excellent learning opportunities, and a great way to decide whether this is the type of legal work I would enjoy. It has been very rewarding to be able to put some of what I have learned in law school thus far into practice. This fall I am looking forward to participating in Rutgers Law Camden’s Hunter Appellate Advocacy Program. I transferred to Rutgers Law in part for the excellent immigration law program. I am interested in human rights, immigration and civil rights. I have a diverse background that includes international human rights work, journalism and most recently, financial services. I have an MA in International Relations from the American University in Cairo, and an BA in International Relations from Mount Holyoke College. I lived in Paris for six years, working as a journalist and in public relations. Pursuing a law degree as a non-traditional student, and mom of a seven-year-old, has been a gift. And it is allowing me to continue work that will make a difference."

Sameer Prasla RLAW '23

"I am currently a Summer Associate at McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney, & Carpenter. I'm currently drafting a motion for summary judgment on a case dealing with complex contractual disputes. Further, I have researched issues, assisted in drafting a complaint, and have participated in a summer writing program. Lastly, I have learned how to bill a client, keep track of my billable hours, and cost-effectively research when using Lexis and Westlaw. Working at McElroy has enhanced my legal research and writing skills, which I am fairly confident will play a role in shaping my career and making me a successful attorney. Rutgers is the only law school in the nation to have implemented a Minority Student Program (MSP). Rutgers has taken initiative to actively diversify the legal field. The two-week orientation and MSP study groups played a huge role in my academic success as a 1L. Further, through MSP connections, I was able to secure an internship position at a national law firm. The people, whether they be faculty members or upper-class students, have always been willing to reach out and lend a helping hand in any way they can. The connection you build at Rutgers Law will be highly helpful in getting a summer internship and last a lifetime."

Tamar Prince RLAW '23

"I am a  Legal Intern at the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women. In this role, I've learned so much about the legislative process, public policy efforts, and the legal duties of an administrative agency. In my research, I've focused on issues relating to the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 in the areas of Constitutional Law, Native American Law, and Congressional authority. I've learned so much about the critical role my office plays on the federal level in strengthening services and justice for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The high-level statutory research and analytical skills I'm cultivating will help me in achieving my future career goals. Additionally, my contributions to work that prioritizes and supports survivors of gender-based violence has been incredibly impactful on my career interests and goals. Starting law school on Zoom was not easy but my fellow classmates made getting through this past difficult year more feasible. What I like most about Rutgers Law is the camaraderie and support I've felt from my classmates, professors, and teaching assistants. The connections and friendships I formed this past year has made the transition to beginning law school on Zoom much easier and more enjoyable."

Alexandra "Alex" Velazquez RLAW '22

"I am a Summer Associate at Potter Anderson & Corroon in Wilmington, Delaware. Potter is one of the oldest Delaware law firms and one of the ten oldest continuously practicing law firms in the United States. Potter specializes in Corporate Litigation, Corporate Counseling, Commercial Litigation, and Intellectual Property, among other things. This summer, I have had the opportunity to work on projects involving bankruptcy, corporate litigation, and employment matters and sit in on hearings, client calls, and participate in Pro Bono opportunities. Delaware is a unique place to work and intern because more than a million businesses have their legal home in Delaware, including more than 60 percent of all U.S. publicly traded companies and more than 60 percent of the Fortune 500. I interned with Vanguard during the summer of 2020 and was involved with the Rutgers Business Law Review and Moot Court during my 2L year. These experiences certainly developed my interest in corporate matters and also litigation. Delaware was the perfect place to explore these areas further because of the complex corporate issues litigated there and because the Delaware Bar is smaller than other area markets. Delaware's smaller Bar lends to a very collegial and supportive environment—two things I have come to learn are essential during my time at Rutgers Law. My favorite thing about Rutgers Law is how connected the student body is, whether virtual or in-person. My classmates are extremely helpful and supportive and genuinely have become life-long friends. One thing that makes Rutgers Law incredibly unique is The Minority Student Program. The program, Dean Rhasheda Douglas, and my fellow MSP members have been integral in my success at Rutgers Law as a first-generation law student. I have learned so many things from this program outside of the classroom, including how to interact with attorneys and best position myself before graduating in 2022."

Rutgers Law Media Contacts:
Mike Sepanic (Camden); Elizabeth Moore (Newark)

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