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Alex-Marie Baez ’20 spent last semester interning for the Honorable Mae D'Agostino, a United States District Judge for the Northern District of New York. As a judicial intern, Alex-Marie drafted orders for Judge D'Agostino, reviewed reports and recommendations from magistrate judges, and had the opportunity to discuss her work with the judge's law clerks.
The internship not only made a career in litigation seem more accessible but also helped Alex-Marie hone her writing and researching skills, which will benefit her as she pursues her primary interests: legislative work and health law.
Last summer, Alex-Marie interned at Disability Rights New York, where she helped conduct state investigations, went on monitoring visits, and drafted letters on behalf of clients. She also conducted extensive research related to guardianship matters in New York and the proposed uniform code.
Alex-Marie's interest in health law and legislation stems from her background in working with people with disabilities—the Deaf community, specifically. In college, at Texas Tech University, she studied American Sign Language and joined the Silent Raiders, an American Sign Language Club—of which she later became secretary—that works to increase awareness of Deaf culture and provide opportunities for improving ASL skills through interaction and immersion.
"After I learned American Sign Language I became very intertwined with the Deaf community, who are an empowered group of people," Alex-Marie said. "Deafness isn't a disability, it's a part of who they are."
Her experience at Texas Tech, where she was a member of the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, also inspired her involvement with the Albany Law Women's Law Caucus. As secretary for the Women's Law Caucus, she runs the social media accounts to keep members updated and helps the executive board with event planning.
Academically, Alex-Marie is enjoying the experience of serving as a teaching assistant in her second year of law school. As a first-year student, she found Introduction to Lawyering to be her most challenging class; the effort she put forth to understand the material led to her becoming a TA for the same course this year.
"Similar to a lot of other students, I did a lot of creative writing in college, but when I came to law school I had to learn legal writing, which is very different and more formulaic," she said. "I feel like I can relate to the students who learn legal writing for the first time."
Alex-Marie described her journey to law school as abrupt. Her bachelor's degree is in Psychology, and in her junior year of college, she was planning to apply for correctional psychology programs. However, she was unsure that a psychology career would fulfill her passion of helping people—underrepresented groups in particular. At the time she was working in an office that hosted the university's pre-law program; just like that, she was on a path toward becoming a lawyer.
"I want to help people, and that's what inspired me to come to law school," Alex-Marie said. "It was a great decision. So I think it's really important to give credit to those universal forces pushing you in a certain direction."