To put it simply, I did not have the summer I expected. Like many of my peers, my summer associate program was cancelled, I had to put vacation plans on hold, and I was forced to think about the post-grad job market way more than I wanted. But this unexpected turn of events (thank you, COVID-19) led to an incredible opportunity at Citrix.
During the fall of my 2L year, I took a Privacy Law course with Peter Lefkowitz, Chief Privacy & Digital Risk Officer at Citrix. I had gotten to know Peter pretty well over the course of the semester, and had gone to him for career advice before. So, when I discovered I suddenly had no summer plans, I took a chance, reached out to Peter, and asked if he had any suggestions for how to gain privacy-related experience while I had this downtime. Lucky for me, Citrix was in the middle of launching its first legal internship program, and Peter had the perfect opportunity.
Working at Citrix this summer has been an amazing experience. I was assigned a mentor on the privacy team, which allowed me to see firsthand what it is like to be a privacy lawyer. I examined new regulations, assisted with privacy assessments, and learned more than I even knew there was to learn about cookies. But my experience was not limited to privacy work – I helped with compliance projects, did a deep-dive into employment and litigation matters, and learned about SEC reporting, just to name a few things. Needless to say, I learned about so many practice areas and picked up valuable lawyering skills. But maybe even more importantly, I was able to work with many smart lawyers and continue growing my professional network.
Yes, this summer taught me a lot about life as a lawyer. But it also illustrated for me the power of the BC Law community and networking. I’ve been hearing since orientation that BC Law has its students’ backs. And as long as you are willing to take advantage of this strong community, I truly believe this will always be the case. My experience is just one among many where BC Law professors and alumni really went above and beyond during these uncertain times to help students. For example, the Career Services Office and various deans and professors sprang into action to launch the Eagle Summer Research Scholar Program and the COVID-19 Legal Services Project. Others expanded their clinic capacities, and some, like with my experience, opened the doors to their companies.
I cannot say how grateful I am to have had this incredible experience this summer, but I am perhaps even more grateful to be at a school that provides such a strong support system. Even though the job market looks grim during these times, I know the BC Law community will be the biggest cheerleader for my classmates and me. Bring on 3L and graduation!
Courtney Ruggeri is a third-year student at BC Law, and President of the Impact blog. Reach her at email@example.com.