By Lauren Hammont
with a U.S. Supreme Court justice, interning with the attorney general’s office
and this summer at an insurance firm, Mishka Woodley '16 hopes to make legal
help more accessible to the general public.
“I am not sure whether I will end
up working in the public or private sector, for the government or for a firm
that advises and defends individuals and organizations,” said Woodley. “Either way,
my ultimate goal is to make a positive impact, wherever it may be.”
originally on a pre-med path at the University of Virginia, where she received
her undergraduate degree in biology and bioethics. However, while studying
bioethics, the Kingston, N.Y., native was exposed to the fields of philosophy,
psychology, policy, and law – all of which fascinated her. Prior to law school,
she began her professional career teaching children with autism, assisting
social security disability applicants as a paralegal and playing an
administrative role in the Education Division of CFA Institute.
“Transitioning into law made sense for me with my
interdisciplinary and public service background,” said Woodley. “I am now able
to incorporate the humanities and social sciences with my health care
She is currently working toward her M.S. in bioethics
policy from Union Graduate College and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount
Sinai, while simultaneously working on her law degree at Albany Law School.
When asked how she manages to pursue all of her interests
and still maintain a healthy work-life balance, Woodley states, “My mom and dad
have always encouraged me to 'bloom where you are planted' and I have tried to
follow that advice by participating in new and diverse experiences at Albany
Law School and in the community. My M.S. program nicely complements my law
school experience because I have the opportunity to engage with professors and
students academically and socially from all over the world.”
When needing a
break, Woodley spends time with family, friends, and loved ones.
“A friend of mine owns a boxing gym in Albany that I like to go to with my
classmates,” laughs Woodley. “We just go and box together; it's a really great
mental activity. It helps me clear my head.”
While at Albany
Law, Woodley has gained regulatory and prosecutorial experience through field
placements with both the New York State Attorney General's Office and the U.S.
Attorney’s Office. She also had the opportunity this past March to travel to
Washington, D.C., with one of her peers and represent Albany Law School in a
meeting with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Woodley maintains that
this has been the highlight of her time so far at Albany Law.
“We had a meeting and a Q&A session with Justice
Thomas which was really informational and inspiring. We were able to see oral
arguments before the Supreme Court – the experience really symbolized the
impact of our profession and the work that we do back here in Albany.”
currently interning at Guardian Life Insurance in Pittsfield, Mass., where she
engages in legal and investigatory research and writing related to life and
individual disability insurance issues.
She advises incoming law students to resolve their own
visions for their futures.
“Choose wisely and follow your own path according to
your strengths and interests rather than always following the path that other
people say you should. Engage in every class, internship, event and social interaction
with professionalism. Be present, be in the moment.”