United States: Thelen's Summer Legal Interns Are "College Bound"
Last Updated: August 30 2007

Thelen's New York office has completed another successful "College Bound" summer internship with Legal Outreach, Inc. This four-year program places highly motivated high school students from underserved urban schools at leading New York City law firms for one week each summer.

With the help of Thelen's New York attorneys, summer associates, and professional development staff, Commercial Litigation counsel Scott Wyner provided one week of intensive legal education for New York high school sophomores: Samaya Campbell, Darrius Moore, Jr., Inty Ramirez, and Stephanie Rivera.

In one exercise, the students participated in a negotiation patterned on a transaction handled by the firm's Technology, Media, and Communications team that involved financing for a major sporting event. Following a discussion on negotiation strategy and techniques led by Corporate and Securities Co-Chair Stan Bloch, the students split into two teams to negotiate the basic terms of the agreement, while special counsel Aimee Davis and associate Adam Bergman provided structure and guidance. At the end of the week, IP associate Peter Scher discussed the "real life" values given to the various rights and obligations at issue in the exercise. Everyone involved was thrilled when our interns got it right, especially the students themselves.

The interns were then presented with a set of preliminary injunction papers, recently filed in an action being litigated by partner Eli Mattioli and Mr. Wyner, and were asked to prepare an oral argument. Litigation partner Frederick Whitmer provided tips on oral advocacy, and associates Shamiso Maswoswe and Marguerite Wynne helped the students prepare for their presentations. The students demonstrated remarkable poise and organization in their arguments before partners Michael Chartan, Rachel Hollander, and Catherine McGrath.

"As in the past programs, it was a joy to talk to the students, explain our practice, and see them excel in their transactional and litigation exercises," said Ms. McGrath, who is the firm's Pro Bono Committee chair. "The level of support this year was stronger than ever."

Having completed their major projects, the students participated in several short programs on the firm's full spectrum of practices. Corporate partner Joel Handel provided an introduction to capital markets; Bankruptcy Chair Michael Blumenthal spoke about the business reorganization process; IP partner Monica Richman discussed trademark law; associates Theo Gould and Ronit Gurtman gave presentations on employment law; and litigation partner Jo Anne Adlerstein chatted with the students about criminal law. New York managing partner and Corporate and Securities Co-Chair Douglas Davidson and New York office administrator Vikki Candiotti, who were instrumental in setting up the program, spoke with the students about law firm management.

The students also heard presentations on law firm marketing from New York Marketing and Communications coordinator Ron Goldberg; the work of the law librarian from Dodi Levine; and the value of continuing legal education from Judy Aloia. Summer associates Michael Scarpa and Emile Garlock both served as mentors to the interns, and many other summers spent time sharing with the interns their college and law school experiences, as well as taking them out to lunch. Professional development coordinators Cali Mazzarella and Lesia Harhaj provided tireless support, and facilities coordinator Walter Melin gave a tour of our award-winning offices.

"We attempted to provide the interns a chance to learn about who we are and what we do," said Mr. Wyner. "Tamika Edwards, the program administrator for Legal Outreach, reports that we have accomplished that objective, and that the students thoroughly enjoyed their stay at Thelen."

"The week was great," enthused 2007 intern Stephanie Rivera. "I hope the students who go to your law firm next year will have as great an experience as I did."

Thelen has supported Legal Outreach ever since an associate brought it to firm's attention five years ago. That attorney had been in the first class of students to graduate from College Bound.

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