Pre-Law Panel Provides Real-World Insight on Legal Careers
By Madeline Pelagalli '18
On April 26th, 2017, the Marist Pre-Law Program hosted its annual Pre-Law Panel, a highly anticipated and well-attended event exposing students to perspectives on the legal profession. Generously contributing their ideas were eight Marist alumni: Maureen O’Rourke, Esq., Dean of Boston University School of Law and the Chair of the Marist College Pre-Law Advisory Board; Patricia Lynch, Esq., commercial litigation associate at Sacco and Fillas, LLP; Elissa Carrick, Esq., attorney, Sobo & Sobo LLP; Mike Randall, Esq., associate at Nuzzo & Roberts, LLC; Justin Greenblum, Esq., partner at Carter, Ledyard, and Milburn, LLP; Thomas Straub, Esq., associate at Krentzel and Guzman; Lauren Healy, Esq., partner at Broder and Orland, LLC; and Scott Semple, Esq. of Davagian, Grillo, and Semple, LLP.
Marist Pre-Law Advisor Prof. Annamaria Maciocia, Esq., chaired the panel. Key topics covered in the discussion included:
Undergraduate preparation for law school
Many of the panelists found English and writing classes particularly helpful in both law school and their professional practices. Mr. Greenblum and Dean O’Rourke recommended that students interested in law should take classes such as math, finance, and even coding to teach them practical skills they may need to utilize as attorneys.
Law school decision-making process
Panelists advised students not to rely solely on cost. A school’s ranking, location, internships and externships, employment statistics, and bar exam pass rates are also crucial. Ms. Lynch recalled that a major selling point of Hofstra University School of Law was its proximity to her family in Long Island while Mr. Semple chose Boston College School of Law because of its ranking and strong network. Dean O’Rourke advised students to go to law school only if it truly interests them as a profession.
Transition to the working world from law school
Mr. Straub and Ms. Lynch encouraged students to take skills courses, involve themselves in Mock Trial, find a more experienced mentor at an internship, and expose themselves to different areas of law.
At the close of the panel discussion, students had the opportunity to speak informally with panelists, gaining valuable experience in making connections with the College's extensive alumni network. Marist students are fortunate to have a strong network of legal professionals that return to share their wisdom with current students.