Durva Trivedi ’17, Boston University School of Law

Durva-TrivediBefore starting my Princeternship with Professor James Fleming *88 at Boston University School of Law, I was a little nervous about having to confess how incredibly undecided I am in terms of academic concentration and career ambition. I have interests in many different fields, law being one of them, and am still exploring my options. Despite my initial nervousness though, with Professor Fleming, I was very pleasantly surprised by how accommodating he was of my career confusion. The Princeternship both reassured me in that respect and gave me a sense of what the life of a lawyer and law professor is really like. I can honestly say that after spending a couple of days with him, I am one step closer to deciding what subjects I hope to study further.

Even though two days is not much time, we had two very busy days. I realized that while Professor Fleming is undoubtedly an esteemed academic scholar, his work is not at all passive. Instead, he is deeply engaged in his writing, teaching and administrating roles. On the first day, he explained his job description to us and how he came to be in the position he is now in. We met many of his colleagues, who talked about the specific fields of law in which they have interests and specific expertise. We attended the class he taught on Constitutional Law and met some of his students. We also sat in on meetings that Professor Fleming had with his students as well as with Dean Maureen Rourke, the dean of the law school. It was interesting to see how involved Professor Fleming was with the details of all his projects, whether it was an upcoming academic conference, the notes his students draft for law review journals or the lectures topics for his Constitutional Law class.

The second day was a little different Trivedi 2but no less busy. We again met with colleagues of Professor Fleming’s to get an idea of what certain specific fields of law are like, attended the class he taught on Constitutional Theory, and sat in on meetings he had with students. In addition, we attended a faculty workshop where one professor presented academic writing and all the other professors offered critique and suggestions for improvement. In the evening, we had dinner with Professor Fleming and his family who very graciously welcomed us into their home.

After our busy two days together, I realized my preconceived notions of detached and passive scholarship were misconceptions and it became evident to me that the world of academia is very hands-on in its own unique way. Although law professors aren’t in the courts litigating, their day-to-day activities are very active and engaged.

While I’m still unsure about whether or not I definitely want to be a lawyer or law professor, I have most definitely gained a new-found respect for law and the work of law professors. Since returning from the Princeternship with Professor Fleming, I’ve shifted my schedule around a bit so that my Princeton coursework can include classes about Constitutional Interpretation and Civil Liberties. I’m now interested in internships and summer opportunities where I can learn more about law and I have even begun researching law schools. I am definitely glad I chose to apply for and complete this Princeternship because it surprised me in some really great ways and helped me to confirm my budding interest in law and politics.


Joshua Roberts ’17, Boston University School of Law

Josh-RobertsDay 1

During my two day Princernship with Professor James Fleming *88, I learned more about law school, legal careers, and academia than I ever thought possible. Our first day started at 9 a.m. in Professor Fleming’s office. Professor Fleming took the time to get to know my fellow Princeterns and me, and we got to know Professor Fleming as well. He told us about his path to becoming a law school professor, which included getting a PhD at Princeton and a JD at Harvard. Although I did not think I was interested in a life in academia before this Princeternship, after talking to Professor Fleming about his academic journey, I realized that it may be something I am interested in pursuing. We also discussed the different types of career possibilities in the field of law, from practicing corporate law to studying constitutional theory.

Next, we sat in on a meeting between the BU School of Law Dean Maureen O’Rourke and Professor Fleming, and we got to see some of the administrative, behind-the-scenes work that is necessary to make a law school run smoothly for all of its students. In addition, we attended Professor Fleming’s Constitutional Law course. He lectured on several monumental court cases in our country’s history, including Bush v. Gore, which was exciting because for me it took place in my home state of Florida.

Day 2

For as much as I learned on theRoberts 1 first day of my Princeternship, I learned even more on the second, which started off similar to the first, meeting in Professor Fleming’s office at 9 a.m. We had meetings with several other professors at BU School of Law, which Professor Fleming set up according to our specific interests. I am interested in International Law and Constitutional Law, and Professor Fleming set up meetings with Professor Rob Sloane and Professor Pnina Lahav, who are experts in those fields. Professor Fleming also met with several of his current students to discuss papers they were writing. It was incredible to see how much time Professor Fleming devoted to guiding his students and how much he genuinely loves teaching. All around his room were tokens of appreciation given to him by his students, and it was clear how much his students like and respect him.

Later in the day, we attended a faculty workshop with Professor Fleming, in which another professor presented an upcoming paper and received feedback from the rest of the staff. It was apparent that the staff had great working relationships with each other, and it was fascinating to see the different professors bounce ideas off of each other about the best way to improve an argument. We also attended another one of Professor Fleming’s courses, Constitutional Theory, and a captivating lecture on the legality of the use of drone warfare under international law.

Finally, after a fun and informative day at the office, Professor Fleming and his wife, Professor Linda McClain, graciously invited us into their home for dinner. The meal consisted of both great food and great conversation, and it was an incredible way to cap off my Princeternship experience.

After reflecting on my Princeternship, I realize how invaluable the experience truly was. Coming in, I did not have a sense of what it would be like to attend law school or what it would be like to become a professor. After spending two days shadowing Professor Fleming, I now have a much better sense of what both law school and becoming a professor would be like. Although I do not yet have to decide which path I will take after graduating from college, when the time comes, I will be able to make a much more informed decision.