The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Students Experience New York City Legal Life

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While most Colgate University students traveled home after the Fall semester finals week, a select few had the opportunity to take part in an immersive pre-law experience in New York City. The trip was the result of a collaboration between the Pre-Law Society, Career Services, Alumni Relations and the Colgate Lawyers Association. Students who participated in this immersive experience were able to spend a day packed full of career preparation that demystified real-world jobs within the law and gave students various career development opportunities. 

25 Colgate students took part in this program, which was designed primarily for those who know they want to pursue a career in the legal field. Milone Family Assistant Vice President for Career Initiatives Teresa Olsen emphasized the importance of crafting an experience that allowed students to see what their future in the legal realm may look like. This was accomplished via a combination of alumni panels, a tour of the New York University School of Law and, perhaps most importantly, the opportunity for students to observe a courtroom hearing. 

Olsen explained that the immersion aspect of the trip set this career development program apart from other opportunities on campus. By going to New York City, students had the ability to experience places like a New York University law school classroom, where they could potentially go to class one day, or a courtroom, where they could represent a client. These are experiences that are not replicable in on-campus programming.

Senior Rebecca Viner, who went on the trip and plans to attend law school after graduation, emphasized how this and other elements of the trip contributed to her future career in law.

“This trip was very influential as I look to a future in law,” Viner said. “I met inspiring Colgate alumni, had the opportunity to watch a trial and sentencing, and asked questions to individuals in various positions that utilize and interpret the law in different ways.”

This idea that the law can be interpreted in different ways and can cover a wide range of disciplines was junior Cynthia Ortiz-Naranjo’s largest takeaway from the trip. Ortiz-Naranjo, an international relations major who plans to spend time as a paralegal after graduation, spoke to the importance of having such a diverse itinerary and meeting alumni with a broad range of experiences during the trip.

“My most important takeaway from the trip was that everyone has their own path to finding where they belong. Several of our alumni explained how their first job was not their dream job, but that they love the job they currently have,” Ortiz-Naranjo said. “Some started in the private sector and switched to the public sector and vice versa. Each alumnus I talked with confidently told me that they were happy at their current job. While there will always be many obstacles in navigating the legal field, perseverance is key to finding your place.”

While law can be a difficult and sometimes unforgiving field, Colgate University has proven to be an important guide for students looking to find their place in the professional world. Colgate’s Career Services team continues to provide opportunities for students to continue their professional development. 

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