Diversity Pipeline Initiatives Committee
Assistant Corporate Counsel, New York City Law Department
I have been a part of the New York City Bar Association for almost fifteen years. In 2005, I started out as a high school student participating in the Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship program – one of many initiatives run by the City Bar’s Diversity Pipeline Initiatives Committee. The summer internship was my first job. I worked at the City Bar, where I learned about office etiquette and developed other professional skills. More importantly, the program offered a variety of sessions focused on teaching participants about the legal profession and the steps to pursuing a career in law. Two of the most significant memories I have about those sessions were learning about the college application process and an area of law I had never heard of up until that point: intellectual property. I seem to recall those memories because those bits of knowledge, first, gave me the tools and encouragement to pursue an education from my dream college, Columbia University and, second, piqued my interest in intellectual property law. Years later, I graduated from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law with a concentration in Intellectual Property.
Through college and law school, I continued to benefit from the City Bar through its other pipeline programs, networking events, and resources, including their scholarship funds for certain programs, such as Law Preview, which prepared students entering law school by teaching them about practical skills and guidelines relating to outlining cases, study schedules, and on-campus interviews.
I am very grateful to the City Bar for exposing me to the nuances of college, law school, and the legal profession. If not for the City Bar, I would have relied exclusively on the advice of my guidance counselors at my overcrowded public high school and focused less efforts on applying to my dream college. If not for the City Bar, I would have been introduced to certain areas of legal practice much later in my career or not at all. If not for the City Bar, I would have been so lost in my first year of law school, which can often shape immediate post-graduate opportunities. Thanks to the City Bar I have acquired the right tools over the years to pursue and accomplish my academic and professional goals.
What I love most about the City Bar is its focus on volunteering and community. For example, the City Bar encourages its members to engage with New York City students, academia, and legal professionals. I am very grateful for the frequent opportunities to give back, whether as a college or law school student talking with high school students about my career path or currently being an attorney member of the same committee that runs the summer internship program that first introduced me to the City Bar fifteen years ago.
As we celebrate the City Bar’s 150th anniversary, I would like to thank the City Bar for the knowledge and experiences I gained throughout the past fifteen years that guided my academic and professional development. I wish for many more years of its outreach, growth, and strong sense of community and service.