By Murphy Mitchell
Over the summer, I had the privilege of continuing my public service endeavors through an internship with Brooklyn Defender Services in New York. With an annual client base totaling nearly 40,000 indigent people, I was able to experience the rewarding work that goes into being part of one of the largest defender offices in the nation.
More than the fulfillment that came with contributing to such a community-minded effort, I have been overcome with a sense of gratitude for the organizations and people who paved the road for me to do public interest work in New York City’s most populous borough.
As an ambassador, I find myself constantly reciting a host of selling points to prospective students both when initially reaching out to them and when giving them tours of TU Law. These often include the accessibility of professors and their genuine eagerness to help their students, the array of hands-on practice opportunities offered by the school, the collaborative spirit of both the students and faculty, and the generous financial assistance available to prospective students.
Repeatedly touting these exceptional qualities to those considering attending TU Law, doubtless a fun exercise in self-praise, can sometimes lead to semantic satiation. While I know from personal experience that the anecdotes backing up these bragging points are ample and well-founded, they nonetheless begin to take on a disembodied nature—that is, until experiences like the one I had this summer.
After spending three months in such a large, fast-paced environment, one thing became glaringly evident: I would not have been properly equipped to take on such an internship without the benefit of the attributes I am always pitching to prospective students. From my first interview all the way through the last day of the internship, I’d be hard-pressed to point to any given moment of the summer and say that my experiences at TU Law weren’t applicable or helpful.
Research and writing assignments, courtroom observation and experience, investigatory functions, and client relationships are all components of pretty much any legal internship. And through clinic work, advocacy competitions, law journals, faculty support, internships and externships, and the various other opportunities TU Law provides its students, the countless challenges students might encounter in the workplace—even in a market as large as New York City—become not only manageable tasks, but also chances to excel. Put simply, without the doors that TU Law has opened for me since my first day as a student, my summer internship in New York would not have been possible.