A group of 15 Hamilton students recently met in New York City with Hamilton alumni who practice law. These students were members of the newly formed Pre-law Society, a club based around an interest in law and jurisprudence, and possible career options after college. Hamilton alumnus Michael Blasie ’07, an attorney in the litigation department of the New York office of Cooley LLP, facilitated the visit.
Blasie took the students through a series of both state and federal courts, and helped coordinate two panels with other alumni practicing in New York City. The students sat in on a series of cases in the Federal Circuit Court; these cases regarded some point of issue in the initial trial and were viewed by three judges.
The pre-law group then sat in on a state trial of attempted murder where they watched the witness being deposed and the prosecutor at work. Later in the day the students got a chance to talk with other Hamilton alumni who practice the law. Students met with an alumni panel that consisted of Elana Bronson ’03, Lea Haber Kuck ’87, Jeff Williams ’02 and Nicole Wright ’02.
Blasie commented, “When I was in college I was fortunate enough to have a family friend who took me on a similar trip. It was a turning point in my decision to become an attorney.
“Exposure to practicing attorneys is crucial to students who are considering a career in law because there are so many misnomers about the profession,” Blasie remarked. “Most people only know the small microcosm that is criminal defense and prosecution,” he said, “and even that impression is tainted heavily by popular culture.”
Blasie explained that through alumni students can become familiar with other areas of practice not emphasized in movies, such as copyright, corporate, bankruptcy, and trusts and estates. “They will also learn what the actual day to day life of an attorney is and whether that is something they want,” he noted.