Last summer Kate Roberts interned at the New York State Attorney Generals Office in the Environmental Protection Bureau, where she met with groups of assistant attorney generals to discuss case strategy, performed research for them on procedural issues, and was able to go “into the field” to observe environmental projects at work within New York State.
Roberts has been actively involved on campus as a research assistant for Professor Bonventre and Professor Clark, as well as for Professor Hirokawa -- she edited some of his book chapters and articles. “The best part of my experience so far at Albany Law has been being able to work so closely with professors here and developing good relationships,” said Roberts.
This past summer, Roberts worked at Coughlin and Gerhart LLP in Binghamton, N.Y., where she conducted legal research for attorneys, discussed case strategy, attended client meetings, and drafted documents such as complaints, wills, Powers of Attorney, living wills, workers' compensation settlements letters, and waivers of liability. “I have been able to work in a variety of practice groups, getting a wide variety of experience in many areas of law.”
Roberts is looking forward to participating in a judicial field placement this semester with Acting Supreme Court Justice Honorable Kimberly O'Connor. Roberts also serves as the President of Albany Law School's Environmental Law Society, resides on the editorial board of the student-run Albany Government Law Review and is also the Student Editor for the New York Environmental Lawyer (a publication from the Environmental Section of the N.Y.S. Bar Association).
“When I was applying to schools in New York, I thought of staying downstate near NYC, but the more research that I did, the more I realized that Albany Law had more to offer than any of the other New York Law schools that I was considering; we are right in the capital of New York State so we have access to a lot of opportunities throughout the school year. “I always had an interest in going to law school ever since I was in middle school, I can't remember exactly why,” said Roberts, who grew up in Latham, N.Y., and earned her B.A. in Political Science with minors in Philosophy and Psychology from Iona College in 2013. “When I went to college and actually started to think about what I wanted to do when I was done, I had law school in the back of my mind. I was old enough at that point to realize that lawyers have the ability to really help people who may be unable to help themselves; a lot of what drew me to law was the public service aspect of the field and the fact that you have the ability to make a difference in individuals' lives.”
Asked about her future, she said she is “definitely interested in Environmental Law, and would love to eventually work in that field, however, I am open to other opportunities in other areas of law and do not necessarily want to peg myself to one specific part of law in case I develop interests elsewhere. I want to take any opportunities that come my way and run with them. I feel like if I make a five-year plan, then I will sell myself short of opportunities that weren't originally in that plan.”
Her advice to incoming law students follows a similar frame of mind: “Be open to any opportunity that comes your way. Some of the best things that I have learned about being a lawyer were not learned in the classroom – but by actually doing them.”