Hometown: Palermo, Italy
Career Plans: Business law, working with start-ups
Why did you decide to come to Brooklyn Law School?
I first learned about Brooklyn Law School when I took a class with Professor Maryellen Fullerton in Italy, then I came to New York to visit and immediately fell in love with the school. What I liked most was, unlike other schools that kept its LL.M program separate, Brooklyn Law School’s program allows international students to attend classes with J.D. students and engage with and learn from them. It made the experience more competitive and fulfilling.
What is the most surprising thing you learned at Brooklyn Law School?
The sense of community and the feeling of being a member of that community. Even my relationships with my professors was very easy. In Italy, we have a different culture, where professors are more distant with their students. But here, I can say I am in touch with almost all my professors.
What law school accomplishment are you most proud of?
The certificate in Business Law. Planning that program was tricky because of various requirements and limits on the number of credits I could take at a time, but I eventually made it. Brooklyn Law School offers a lot of good classes, but I was more interested in specializing in one area, and luckily, I had the opportunity.
What is your most memorable law school moment?
The first day of orientation. I had just arrived at a new school from another country, but right away I felt like I was home. Desiree Jaeger-Fine, Director of Global Engagement and International Programs, welcomed us with our home flags and broke the ice right away. It was very comfortable from the start, and I felt like I already knew everyone.
If you could come back and teach a class here, any class, one we have or one of your own invention, what would it be?
Startup Law. It was an interesting class I took with Adjunct Professor John Rudikoff, and it was not a typical law class. Guest lecturer taught from experience, not books, and we learned all the steps start-ups need to know to get going.
What did you like about going to law school in Brooklyn?
It is walking distance from all my favorite places. I liked the opportunity of being very close to the Brooklyn Bridge, DUMBO, and even the courthouses. I would walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and back almost every day.
What is your favorite place in Brooklyn and why?
DUMBO, because it has everything I like about New York City: amazing view of Manhattan, restaurants and bars, local markets, and a wonderful park.
What advice would you give to an incoming law student?
You need to network—with other students, professors, and staff—and join associations. I had a wonderful time with the associations I belonged to, preparing for meetings outside school. I made a lot of connections and friends that way.
Your last semester of law school was disrupted by a global pandemic, with New York City at the epicenter. What was the biggest challenge you faced and how did you deal with it? What have you learned about yourself, your law school, and your hopes for the future?
My biggest challenge was that I could not network in person. Before the pandemic, I used to spend all day at school, and I enjoyed that life. It was hard to stop doing that, especially in the beginning. As an international student, another tough moment was when all the flights to Italy were banned. For the first time, I felt like I was away from home. It was really hard living with the thought that I could not reach my family if something would happen to them.