Sarah Jeong ’15, Pace Law School

Sarah-JeongI spent my Princeternship shadowing Elizabeth Corwin ’89, who is the Associate Director of Academic Success at Pace Law School.  A sense of environmental duty pervades Pace Law School’s campus, and I was happily surprised by the intimacy of the community. Although many students and faculty members attend large campus events like the Environmental Law Open House, everyone seemed to know each other, and all the students seemed to be volunteering or working for at least one professor. Pace emphasizes hands-on learning more than my experience with undergraduate studies, and students received class credit for interning with the Environmental Protection Agency and law firms.

I was also surprised by the variety of reasons for which people attend the law school. As one of the students with whom I had lunch said, people attend Pace for three reasons: they are passionate about the environment and see law as a means through which they can create change, they are passionate about law and enjoy the tasks required of a lawyer, or they are unsure of what they want to do and think law would be interesting to try. Most of the students in the environmental law program fit in the first category, and it was exciting to speak with fellow environmentalists and learn that environmental law can be applied to policy, management, and public administration issues.

Several students I interacted with said that the discussions with their peers are among the most valuable aspects of law school. I sat in a comparative environmental law seminar with Professor Harmon and four other students. They were from Brazil, China, Saudi Arabia, and Australia, and all shared a concern for natural resource overuse that they felt their communities back home did not prioritize enough. In a class with students of such interestingly diverse backgrounds, I felt that a valuable part of the course was comparing moral environmental issues from around the world. In this course, I rediscovered how much I enjoyed a Socratic style of teaching, where the desks are arranged in a circle that encourages students to share their opinions.

The most rewarding part of this Jeong 1experience was talking to students, learning what motivated them to choose environmental law as a means through which they hoped to tackle environmental issues, and what they were already doing to enact change. My immediate post-college plans of working for an environmental organization or volunteering abroad have not changed. However, if I feel I need more credibility later in an environmental career, I see law as an ideal way to equip me for a future in environmental policy.

Chany Kim ’16, Pace Law School

Chany-KimDuring my spring break, I had the opportunity to participate in a Princeternship with Professor Elizabeth Corwin ’89 of Pace Law School (White Plains, New York). I had chosen to apply for this program because I was thinking about going to law school, but had no idea what a legal education entails. Now, I have a better idea of what law school is and what it means to be a law student.

Monday, 3/17/2014

My day started with a class called “International Human Rights” by Professor McDonnell. The class was somewhat different from the ones at Princeton, because I noticed that the professor was constantly calling on students to answer his questions. It was interesting because the professor asked thought-provoking questions like, “Why did 9/11 happen?” We also looked at the roots of the anti-American sentiment, focusing on the history of persecution and discrimination of certain racial groups. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to participate in small group discussions with the law school students, and their conversations were very engaging.

Later in the day, I went to the admissions office to ask the admissions officer about how to prepare for law school. I had already prepared a list of questions, and I had all of my questions answered!

Tuesday, 3/18/2014

Prior to starting my Princeternship, Elizabeth had asked me if I would like to talk to any representatives from student organizations. So today, I had the opportunity to chat with Eddie, an officer from the Asian American Law Students Association. The conversation lasted an hour, but it could have lasted much longer. The conversation I had with him was extremely helpful because I asked him questions that I would not have been able to ask a counselor or an admissions officer. He gave me very honest answers and gave me invaluable insights about law school.

After the conversation, I attended a class called “Critical Race Theory” by Professors Anderson and Crawford. The class was structured like a precept, as students shared their personal stories and interpretations of the readings. Then, I went on a tour of the law school.

My day ended with a meeting with students who externed at the UN Headquarters in New York. This meeting was especially memorable because I am taking a course called “The Politics of Development” this semester, so I could somewhat relate to what the students and the professors were discussing.

Wednesday, 3/19/2014

I attended a small seminar on international law focusing on the sale of goods. It introduced me to the problem-solving aspect of law, for the students were continuously working with hypothetical cases and trying to come up with the best solutions to contract violations.

My favorite part of the Princeternship was the last session that I attended: an immigration clinic. There, 3L students acted as legal advisers to Haitian immigrants, under the supervision of their law professor. This was the first time that I was able to observe law put to practical use, since I had only attended lectures and discussion groups during my time at Pace.

Overall, I enjoyed this experience, but I liked talking to professors and students more than attending classes. The only regret that I have about this Princeternship that I did not have the opportunity to sit in any 1L classes, but I was able to talk to 1L students about their first year at law school. Now that I’ve participated in this Princeternship, I am going to seriously consider preparing for law school. If you are thinking about law school, this Princeternship is for you.