The Making of a Lawyer Page 5
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Current Issue : Spring 2010

BLS: What’s the one thing you’re most excited about as you graduate and start to work as a lawyer?

Mike: The opportunity to change a life. My fellowship with Youth Represent will make a difference in the lives of youth in need. I can’t imagine something in life that’s more important than that.

Gloria: I’m excited to use all the skills I’ve learned and to achieve results that affect the greater community in my work at the New York City Law Department. Hopefully I will do something to improve life in the city for others.

James: I am going to be clerking for Judge Edward Korman in the Eastern District. To be a part of the third branch of government, and to have my own incremental contribution to justice in our society, whatever that may be, is just incredibly humbling. To know that I was able to make some type of impact that won’t just affect the people in front of me now, but has the potential to affect the law for generations to come.

Sparkle: I’m going to be clerking in the Eastern District for Judge Eric Vitaliano and then in the Second Circuit for Judge Guido Calabresi. The opportunity to work for such distinguished judges is incredible. I sometimes think, “I went to law school reading Judge Calabresi’s opinions, and now I’m going to be sitting in his chambers, helping to write them!” It’s humbling, that’s exactly what it is.

Shannon: I’m also very humbled. I know it’s not an easy time for people who are looking for jobs right now and I am very grateful to have a job at Paul Weiss that I really want and that I’m excited about. I’m taking the bar in New Jersey as well because I want to keep my options open. Maybe one day I’ll open my own firm.

Paul: What am I excited about? Having graduated! Law school is a lot of hard work. I feel ready to move on, and I think that’s what you’re supposed to feel in the end. Not “Oh my god, I’m so unprepared.” I think you’re supposed to be ready to go on, to leave the nest and conquer new challenges.

Four weeks before her first day at Brooklyn Law School, Shannon Sneed gave birth to her first child. Sleep deprived and full of the frayed nerves of new motherhood, Sneed navigated her first year with incredible grace and acuity, helped along by supportive family and faculty, including Professor Jayne Ressler, a fellow new mother who provided the privacy of her office so that Sneed could pump breast milk to feed her daughter while briefing cases and studying for finals.

Her daughter Story is now three, and Sneed, who switched to the part-time program from full-time to accommodate her needs as a new mother, is a Barry L. Zaretsky Fellow, a member of the Brooklyn Law Review, a member of the Moot Court Honor Society, and on the Dean’s List. “It worked out well to take the full four years. I had the opportunity to take more classes, and I got to spend time with my daughter,” she said. 

Sneed has never shied from challenges. After college, she quickly grew tired of living in her native Texas. In search of adventure, she sold her car and moved to New York City with nothing more than the proceeds in her pocket. Within days she found an apartment in the Meatpacking District and a job as a paralegal at a law firm, which eventually lead her to BLS. Sneed will be working in the Bankruptcy and Corporate Restructuring Department of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in the fall.