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Pedersen ’18 has gained invaluable experience at her summer judicial internship
under Judge Mae D’Agostino, a United States District Judge for the Northern District of New York.
worked with clerks in Judge D’Agostino’s office, all three having graduated from
Albany Law School. “They are all amazing and offer good advice, not only about
the cases I’m are working on for Judge D’Agostino but also which classes to
take next year at Albany Law,” Pedersen said.
with cases that were resolved before trial. She reviewed complaints and other
submissions to the court, then drafted an opinion for the clerks to review.
After Pedersen and the clerks revised the documents they ultimately were sent
back to Judge D’Agostino for the final verdict.
At the U.S.
District Courthouse, there are three federal judges, two magistrate judges,
three to four circuit judges and one bankruptcy judge. Pedersen worked for Judge
D’Agostino but she sat in on trials conducted by the other judges.
sitting in on trials. Even if they aren’t Judge D’Agostino’s cases, I’m encouraged
to go. I learned a lot from a recent workers discrimination case because the
two attorney’s approaches were so different. Criminal cases are interesting too
because they’re still so new to me. Every moment has been exciting, I love
being in the courtroom,” she said.
looked forward to attending a weekly “brown bag” lunch at the courthouse where judges
and attorneys talk about their experiences in an informal setting.
she has gained a lot from conversations with the judge. “She reflects on what
just happened in the courtroom,” Pedersen said. “She makes sure the interns
understand the good and bad things that each attorney did during the trial.
She’s instructive and educational because she knows the law but also really
cares about what makes a good lawyer.”
that surprised Pedersen was the attitude of most of the attorneys. She noticed
that in Albany, adverse parties in a trial are typically friendly toward
each other. Prosecutors will hand documents to the defense so they can keep the
trial moving forward. Pedersen believes “this may not be the case in other larger
cities, but in Albany, they will likely go up against that attorney again and
stand before the same judge many times, so I’ve noticed most of them try to
form relationships with each other. I’ve learned it’s a huge mistake to act
like the other attorney is the enemy.”
heard Judge D’Agostino speak at her orientation in 2015 during Albany Law’s 1L
swearing in ceremony. She knew during orientation that it would be a great opportunity
to work for a judge. After working hard and doing well her first year she was
able to achieve this prestigious goal. She credits her teaching assistants in
her Albany Law classes who urged her to apply for an internship with the judge.
Pedersen is grateful for that guidance and wants to be able to do the same for
the incoming 1L students as a teacher’s assistant for the course called Contracts.
had a successful first year, which confirmed for her that Albany Law School is
exactly where she is supposed to be. She hopes to become a judge’s clerk herself
after graduating. As for her second year, she is looking forward to taking a
medical malpractice class at Albany Law taught by Judge D’Agostino.