As a paralegal intern in Washington, D.C., Kristin Isabelli expected she would learn more about what attorneys do–so she wasn’t quite sure why her first placement was in the law firm’s accounting department.
“At first I didn’t understand what accounting had to do with becoming a lawyer,” says Kristin of her internship at Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll in summer 2008. “But after a few weeks I realized the internship was not just about attorneys but also about running a successful business.” She also worked in the practice’s marketing and human resources departments as part of the experience.
Kristin, who received financial support from the Betsy Dotson Experiential Learning Fund at Allegheny, had the opportunity to explore her academic interests during the internship. Working on a human rights case about apartheid in South Africa complemented her major in international studies. She also assisted the firm’s international division by translating documents written in French, which she minors in at Allegheny.
In addition to learning valuable lessons from her work, Kristin enjoyed the experience of living in the nation’s capital. She plans to return there after graduation to work and attend law or business school. And the diversity of tasks in the internship helped Kristin recognize that she has many options for the future.
“I learned that, whatever I should choose to do in the future, the experiences that I have are what I make of them,” she says. “I don’t think I could have had a better internship, and I am so thankful for the funding from the Dotson Fund.”