Operating the Behind the Scenes

This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2021 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by Alex Davis, COL ’23

This summer I had the opportunity to intern at a small law firm in Northeast Philadelphia, Roach Law LLC, which primarily practices personal injury, family, and trust and estate law. Due to the small size of the firm, employing only five people including myself, I was fortunate enough to have an in-person experience despite the ongoing pandemic. Being able to interact with the team on a daily basis provided me with a sense of normalcy after attending classes virtually for over a year, and I knew when I began the internship that simply going into the office every morning would make this experience worth it.

The team at Roach Law made me feel like I had worked there for years from the very beginning. They not only welcomed me into their family and supported me through my responsibilities, but I unexpectedly had the opportunity to be a part of the business side of the firm as well. In addition to helping with legal and administrative tasks, I saw firsthand how Marirose Roach, founder of the firm, had to balance her duties as a lawyer with the responsibility of operating the behind the scenes of the firm. Thus, I was able to both listen to and pitch ideas surrounding marketing and firm efficiency, as well as gain insight into the management of day to day operations.

The best part of this experience was getting to interact with clients. From sitting in on consultations, becoming familiar with cases through client intakes, and learning about the different processes and steps involved in each case, I was able to see how much of a difference the firm can make in the lives of people in the community. The role of an attorney is not only being highly knowledgeable of the law but also developing a trusting and compassionate relationship with their clients, and I was grateful to witness Marirose handle both components so well.

In addition to making a difference in the lives of the clients, Roach Law has given back to the Philadelphia community since its inception. My primary task this summer was helping to plan the firm’s annual holiday food drive. Hunger and food insecurity continues to be a major problem in Philadelphia, and Roach law seeks to alleviate this issue by collecting non-perishables every year in time for the holidays. Planning the food drive required me to exercise multiple different skill sets, but it more importantly helped me realize that I want to incorporate community service into whatever career path I end up pursuing.

As for my own professional development, I’ve known that I want to attend law school for quite some time, but this experience allowed me to narrow my interests and gain a better idea of what exactly I want to do with my law degree. Although I am still figuring it out, I am so thankful that this internship gave me such a well-rounded, informative picture of what it is like to be an attorney, and I know that I will look back on this experience with nothing but gratitude.

By Career Services
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