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Sean Mix ’16 is looking forward to adding more pages to his story this fall as he heads downstate to begin a two-year clerkship with the Honorable Richard K. Eaton
’74 at the United States Court of International Trade in New York City.
Prior to receiving the offer from Judge Eaton, Mix had been offered a position with Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, an international law firm headquartered in NYC.
“I was all set to head to Milbank after law school,” Mix said. “I had interned there over the summer and really enjoyed the work and the people. I found it extremely stimulating to be in an environment where I was surrounded by such high-stakes cases. Some of the top attorneys are at Milbank, and I definitely want to work at that level.”
Mix reevaluated his plan to head straight to Milbank in the fall after encouragement from a few of his mentors to apply for the Judge Eaton clerkship. “I looked into it on their recommendation and ended up applying because I do have such an active interest in trade law and working with international parties. I am very happy I did too, because as soon as I met with Judge Eaton, I knew that I wanted to work for him.”
Mix, originally from Geneseo, N.Y., graduated from Ithaca College in 2008 with a B.A. in Writing before heading to the West Coast, where he worked at a small bookstore in Oakland. “I remember thinking: all of these artists, poets, and literary figures congregate out there in California, so of course it was the place to go. I wanted to be in that environment, I wanted to sharpen my craft and meet my heroes—and it truly was a fascinating place. I think California influenced me to move abroad; California really fosters an ambitious, ‘anything is possible’ attitude — which can be very useful, especially in law school.”
“Living under a different legal system [in China] showed me how much a country’s legal structure can really influence so many lives on a personal level. ... I came to the conclusion that law was one of the most effective ways to influence change in the world, and I was ready to face this new challenge.”
Prior to law school, Mix spent three years living in China, where he helped manage a private English school that offered classes primarily to children, but also to older students who wanted to improve their English language skills.
“I was only supposed to stay for a semester to study,” laughed Mix, “that was the initial plan. I wanted to learn some Chinese so that I could understand the original script in this bilingual book of Chinese poems I had been going through at the time. I had no idea that I would end up falling in love with the place and staying.”
His initial teaching job grew into a management position where he was able to work on the school’s curriculum, train new teachers, and eventually help build the school's second location.
“It was a really intense experience,” said Mix, who had arrived just as the school was getting started. “We were trying to build this school up with our own hands. We were a small group — even the owner’s husband would come by after his full-time job to help us teach these English classes every night. It was great though. I felt like I was a part of something good, and it made us so proud as enrollment continued to grow.”
It was in China where Sean began to consider pursuing a legal education.
“Living under a different legal system showed me how much a country’s legal structure can really influence so many lives on a personal level,” he said. “I wanted to learn more about that. I wanted to learn how to help, how to be a stronger individual, and how to be of assistance to the world. I came to the conclusion that law was one of the most effective ways to influence change in the world, and I was ready to face this new challenge.”
“I loved working for Justice Clark. ... She is an amazing person, a wonderful mentor, and I am happy to be in touch with her still.”
Mix returned to the U.S. and began law school in the fall of 2013.
During his time at Albany Law, Mix has worked as a teaching assistant for courses in Federal Civil Procedure and Constitutional Law, as well as a research assistant for Professors Timothy Lytton and Christine Chung. Following his 1L year, Mix interned for the Honorable Christine M. Clark
’96 at the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department, where he was given the opportunity to learn hands-on about legal research, judicial decision writing, and the administration of justice.
“I loved working for Justice Clark,” Mix said. “She was very influential and I truly admire her. She is an amazing person, a wonderful mentor, and I am happy to be in touch with her still.”
Mix is spending his final year in law school as editor-in-chief of the
Albany Law Review, which keeps him busy with editing and preparing articles for publication. “I really appreciate the work that everyone does on the team — they are each an integral part of the Law Review. We have a wonderful group here and some fascinating articles.”
Sean will graduate in May and begin his clerkship with Judge Eaton this fall in NYC. Milbank has agreed to defer its offer of employment until after he completes his two-year clerkship.
“I am very fortunate and blessed to have had so many understanding people who have been helping me along the way — and so many experiences that brought me here,” he said. “I'm definitely looking forward to the next chapter.”