Yesterday I had the pleasure of eating lunch with four of our summer Rochester Legal Diversity Clerkship students: Stephanie Johnson from Howard University is clerking at Empire Justice Center thanks to a grant from the Foundation of the Monroe County Bar; Ahmed Bilal from University of Buffalo is clerking at the District Attorney’s Office; Mario Roque from Cornell University is clerking at Underberg & Kessler; and Matt Traylor, also from Cornell, is clerking at Ward Greenberg (pictured from left to right below).This was a last minute invitation from me to them and unfortunately the other 4 summer clerks were unable to attend. My own summer schedule is very busy so I do not always have an opportunity to catch up with them. I see my role as selling Rochester, the legal community, and of course, the Monroe County Bar Association.
It was great to hear about their impressions of Rochester, and positive stories from their firms. One of the questions I asked was whether or not their first year of law school had prepared them for their respective clerkship opportunities? I appreciated their honesty as most said they were not prepared for some of the work they are doing. But I also appreciated that everyone of them stated that in light of that reality, they are receiving great instruction in their firms and organizations, and learning a tremendous amount. For some, the experience provides them insight into practice areas they may have been or not considering, and they are appreciating the opportunity to learn more about this substantive area of law. We then talked about their impressions of Rochester, and how they are spending their downtime. Some have family here, and so are enjoying catching up. All of them are really enjoying getting to know the Rochester legal community, and the community as a whole. I reaffirmed what an incredibly special legal community we do have, one that is actively engaged, one that cares about their colleagues and the profession, and most of all, one that cares about the clients we serve. They are most appreciative to the MCBA, to Diversity Chair, Jeff Harradine, and to Louise Spinelli, Program Coordinator, for our collective work on this program. We hope to welcome many of them back for their 2L summer, and even more for their first year as a practicing lawyer. Thanks for checking in… Mary
The other Diversity Clerkship students, who were not able to attend are Twiesha Vachhrajani (first), Patrice Antoine (second), Jessica Simon (third) and Safa Robinson-Ferrer (fourth).