First-year student Gabriella Santini had the opportunity to do an externship and a job shadowing experience in courtrooms with two William Smith alumnae over winter break. Since Santini plans to major in philosophy and is considering a career in law, the two opportunities were valuable.
Santini did a week-long externship with Stacy Clark ’04 at the Office of the State Attorney in Baltimore County Circuit Courts in Baltimore, Maryland. Clark is currently a law clerk who will take the Bar Exam later this month. During the week, Santini read criminal files and discussed cases, as well as sat in on several trials.
“I was able to get a better sense of the courtroom and how everything works,” Santini said.
To make her winter break even more productive, Santini shadowed Judge Ruth Jakubowski ’75 for a day. In just one day, she was able to watch three different court cases. She also had the opportunity to sit in the Judge’s chambers and watch a deal be negotiated between the state’s attorney and a defense lawyer.
On campus, Santini is involved in the Philosophy Club, the Debate Team and Amnesty International. She finds that her participation in the Debate Team in particular, helped prepare her for her winter break experiences.
“The way the arguments are presented as part of the Debate Team, and the skills used, are very similar to the way the arguments are presented in court when the attorneys are trying to find the weaknesses of an argument,” she explained. She said she owes much of her preparation to various professors who have taught her the art of making an argument while simultaneously viewing it from both sides.
Santini was pro-active in finding these opportunities and received assistance from the staff at the Salisbury Center for Career Services and its alumni networking system. The Career Services Office also found her a part-time internship with Judge Timothy Buckley in Geneva City Court this semester. And, as a result of her winter break involvement in the Baltimore County Circuit Courts, she is waiting to hear back about an opportunity to intern with them for the whole summer.