My name is Henry Grabbe and I am rising 3L at Rutgers Law School in Camden. Currently, I am working as a Summer Associate at Drinker Biddle & Reath, an Am Law 100 firm headquartered in Philadelphia.
As an undergraduate at Rutgers University–New Brunswick interested in government, I was able to work with a legislator, in the office of the Governor, and at a public affairs firm. The experience I enjoyed the most, however, was working for a lobbyist at the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. In that time I realized that more than politics, I was drawn to advocacy. So, after spending a year working in Catholic campus ministry at Northeastern University in Boston, I enrolled at Rutgers Law.
In the past month at Drinker Biddle, I have found a firm fixated on the client advocacy that drew me to law school in the first place. Drinker Biddle hosts over 600 attorneys across thirteen offices, 200 of whom work in Philadelphia. What ties the firm together as one is a relentless commitment to the client.
As a Summer Associate, I have had the opportunity to work with the corporate insurance, corporate securities, class action litigation, commercial litigation, white collar litigation, and products liability groups, as well as a pro bono project representing a certified class of death row inmates. The most exciting project so far has been drafting a motion in limine for a commercial breach of contract case the firm has been litigating for several years. Where law school has exposed me to discrete, limited issues, my time at Drinker Biddle has illuminated the breadth and complexity legal matters can take on.
Equally educational to the legal work I have been doing is the opportunity to meet with accomplished attorneys every day in different practice areas—from first-year associates to the firm’s executive management team—and hear their insights, trials, and triumphs. The Summer Associate program emphasizes the importance of getting to know attorneys across practice areas I might not work with directly, which makes the firm feel like a familiar place to work.
Rutgers Law has prepared me for this summer in a number of ways. Most glaringly, joining a network of Rutgers Law alumni at Drinker Biddle who are invested in my success at the firm has been very comforting. From the point of on-campus interviews to the start of the Summer Associate program, I have met many Rutgers Law grads who are generous with their time and candid about their experience at Drinker Biddle.
Rutgers has also provided me the legal analysis and writing skills to have a successful summer at Drinker Biddle. Specifically, intensive writing exposure in the second year of law school—through Rutgers Law Review and Hunter Moot Court—has amplified the impact I have been able to make in the quick nine weeks of the summer program. I regularly find myself writing and rewriting a sentence because in the back of my mind I hear a professor urging me: “more direct,” or “be concise.”
Above all, my summer at Drinker Biddle & Reath has fostered a deep excitement to start practicing law. I am eager to bring that feeling back to campus in the fall and continue on what has been a fantastic journey at Rutgers Law School.