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Erin Kilmer ’18 has been selected by the New York State Bar Association for a highly competitive international internship this summer. And she landed her first choice of location—Vienna, Austria.
Kilmer will spend the month of July in the banking and financing department at Graf & Pitkowitz Rechtsanwälte GmbH, a firm that is accustomed to having international employees.
“I applied to the program in January. I was deciding what to do this summer and went for it on a whim,” Kilmer said. “I found out in early March that both the bar and the firm accepted me. I don’t necessarily see myself working at a law firm in the future but it’s good to diversify and experience new things, and there’s no better place to do that than Vienna. It’s a standard nine-to-five day with tons of cultural opportunities. The first language there is German. I’ve been practicing the language but it’s comforting to know that nearly everyone knows English as well.”
One of the things Kilmer is looking forward to is visiting the opera.
“Mozart spent a lot of time in Vienna and I’m a huge fan. I’m a singer as well. It’s a stress reliever to sing with local groups for a few hours each week,” she said.
Professor Peter Halewood administers the NYSBA international internships at Albany Law School,
whose students have been selected to work in Brazil, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, Cyprus, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panama. The Law Student International Internship Program is part of a
larger study abroad program offered by Albany Law, where, in the past, students have studied in China, France, South Africa, and other countries.
Kilmer studied abroad in Krakow, Poland, as an undergraduate student at Marist College. She is now part of a dual degree program in which she will receive a J.D. from Albany Law and a Master of Science in Bioethics from the Alden March Bioethics Institute at Albany Medical College. In order for Kilmer to stay on track in both programs she takes forum-based online classes each summer in bioethics, and will continue to do so during her time in Vienna.
“[I]t’s good to diversify and experience new things, and there’s no better place to do that than Vienna.”
As a member of the dual degree program, Kilmer has looked at many of the same cases as medical students, but from a legal standpoint. She makes the short walk across the street to Albany Med to talk to standardized patients in her bioethics class. Her role this year as treasurer of Albany Law School’s Health Law Society gave her even more opportunities to join conversations between doctors and lawyers on controversial topics.
“It’s important for Health Law Society members to go to ethical consulting meetings and experience these things,” said Kilmer, who was elected as the group’s next president. “I’m excited to get more involved and have the Health Law Society events be more seen on campus. There are interesting legal issues to be picked out of ethical issues. The doctors and lawyers usually come to the same conclusion about controversial cases, but they get there two separate ways.”
After her Vienna experience, in the fall, Kilmer will intern in the Northern District of New York for Senior U.S. District Judge Lawrence E. Kahn. In this position she will work closely with Judge Kahn, writing and researching decisions.
“I like the idea of clerking for a judge more than litigating,” Kilmer said. “It’s academic rather than a strict practice of law. This is something that I might want to continue doing post-graduation.”
Learn more about study abroad opportunities at Albany Law