The first day of my Princeternship began with meeting my two Princeton hosts, Federico Baradello ’05 and Jason Thompson ’06, who both graciously showed me around the Palo Alto office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. After getting to meet many others in the office, I sat down with Mr. Baradello and Mr. Thompson, and we exchanged stories about our experiences at Princeton. It was great getting to hear how similar and different Princeton was just a few short years ago. Mr. Thompson also gave me a brief explanation of what private equity was and the role Kirkland and its lawyers play in the exchange between buyers and sellers of companies.
After this brief introduction, I was shown into my own office with my own computer, desk, whiteboard, and to top it all off, a gorgeous view of the Palo Alto neighborhood. For the rest of the morning, I focused on a reading Mr. Thompson had handed me on tort law. It was interesting to see how the reading I was given related to one of the classes I’m taking this semester, ANT 342: The Anthropology of Law. In fact, the section explaining proximate cause even mentioned a famous case that I had read about in class!
For lunch, Mr. Baradello, Mr. Thompson, and two other lawyers in the office, Lilit Voskanyan and Adam Phillips, took me out to Tamarine, which served delicious Vietnamese cuisine. While we were all eating, they talked about their experiences with the bar exam and gave me some helpful career advice. Afterwards, I returned to my office to read about asset acquisitions. I learned that there’s a lot of technical language that I still have to know!
On the second day of my Princeternship, Mr. Baradello wanted me to help him edit and read over two U Visa applications. Mr. Baradello first explained to me that U Visas were given to victims of crimes such as sexual assault and would help them and their families with temporary work eligibility. It was satisfying to realize that a law degree would not only be useful in a context as a corporate lawyer, but also to help everyday people with pro bono legal work.
After a short lunch at the office with several other associates, I attended an informational meeting with them on non-disclosure agreements. It was fascinating getting to see the actual paperwork that lawyers had to read and mark up (and quite a lot of paperwork there was). I learned that attention to detail is definitely a skill that lawyers need to have since many times mark ups include changing a single word in a sentence to relieve the client of less responsibility.
The Princeternship really gave me an inside look on the life of corporate lawyers and the work environment of Kirkland & Ellis. My experience definitely affirmed my decision to pursue law as a career. I want to thank all the lawyers at Kirkland for their generous hospitality and Career Services for giving me this opportunity. I especially want to thank my hosts, Mr. Baradello and Mr. Thompson, for introducing me to their firm and being so willing to talk to me and answer any questions I had. I recommend anyone who is interested in law to apply for this Princeternship.