McNamara 2018 Internship Program Remarks







May 22, 2018


Good evening and welcome to the Home of Law.


This event is intended as a social occasion and I know there are others on the agenda so I will be brief. No big speeches about the Association, its history, everything we do, no lists of do’s and don’ts, although I’ll be happy to talk with you about any of that afterwards and you’re welcome to come to our Annual Meeting across the hall on Thursday night.


Instead, I’m going to limit my remarks to 3 points:


(1) First and foremost, to the summer interns, I want to wish you well as you begin an experience that I hope will be truly transformative for you.


The late Judge Baer and his wife, Dr. Suzanne Baer, knew how valuable internship opportunities could be in so many ways and that’s why they established this program.


Know in my case my experience as a summer associate in a law firm was life-changing, I developed very important relationships that endured through the years and I gained an appreciation of what it is to be a lawyer dealing with actual cases and clients as opposed to a law student.


So soak up the summer experience and get everything you can from your internship, the judges you will be working with and the other clerks and interns in chambers and in the Courthouse.


(2) Second, I hope this will be the beginning of a career-long relationship with the NYCLA community.


We would like to see you become engaged in the Association, encourage your friends and colleagues to join and perhaps in time become a leader of the Association.


One of our current officers, our Secretary Asha Smith, is a proud alum of the summer internship program.


I promise you that if you get involved it will make you a better lawyer and you will find your career more satisfying.


I know that was true for me and I know it’s true for a lot of people in this room tonight.


I promised I wouldn’t get into a discussion of everything we do at NYCLA and I won’t but I do have one request – between now and the end of next month try to visit the Courthouse at 60 Centre Street and take a look at the display cabinets in the rotunda that Toni Valenti, our membership director, put together entitled “Why Bar Associations Matter in American Law.”


I think you’ll find it very interesting and one of the things you’ll see there is a photo of Judge Baer with a class of summer interns.


(3) Finally, this program doesn’t just happen, it requires financial contributions and a lot of work by a number of people. So thank you to Pfizer and all the other financial sponsors of this program.


Thank you to the state and federal Judges who agreed to take on interns this summer, including Past Presidents Moses and Aaron, Justices Margarita Lopez Torres, Erika Edwards and Margaret Chan.


Thank you to Catherine Christian, a Past President, for everything you do and have done to make this program a success.


Thank you to Lois Davis, our Director of Pro Bono whom you will be hearing more about later in the program.

Finally, thank you to Justice Paul Goetz and Rita Fang, the Co-Chairs of our Committee on Minorities in the Law, for all of your work on your Committee and this program.

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