Q & A with Thomas
Why did you choose the externship program?
I decided to participate in BU's externship program because I wanted the opportunity to put theory into practice, develop professional values and experience law's impact in the real world.
What was your externship placement and what was your role there?
My externship was with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in their Boston office. At the SEC, I was assigned to various Commission lawyers to work on projects such as investigations of industry and issuer practices, drafting of proposed statutes and rules, administrative and civil enforcement actions, and analyzing international securities regulations and rules.
What was the most memorable experience in your placement, and why?
While at the SEC, I was able to experience and participate in projects that most law students will never do. Specifically, during my time at the SEC I was placed on a team of lawyers tasked with investigating allegations of certain U.S. companies and individuals that have joined with international partners to steal billions of dollars from American investors through stock fraud. Working on this team allowed me to see law in action, and to gain a deeper understanding of an area of the law by integrating classroom work with the constraints of real-life practice.
What did you gain by participating in the program?
My experience did more than meet my expectations; it exceeded them by providing exposure to the workings of the Commission and to the regulation of securities and securities markets. I participated in several investigations, completed numerous memorandums from the simple to the very complex, and attended countless educational seminars taught by senior Commission staff and prominent members of the private securities bar on a weekly basis. These lessons could never have been gleaned from a textbook.
What are your plans after BU Law?
My externship experience was a perfect bridge from law school to practicing. I was able to be a student and an attorney, to practice and to learn. My supervisors taught me legal lessons, but they also taught me how to be a lawyer. Upon graduation, I plan to return to my home state of Florida and begin working for a large southeastern firm as an associate in the Corporate, Securities & Tax Practice Group.
What advice would you give to incoming students curious about the clinical programs?
Any opportunity to get out in the real world and see what lawyers do is empowering for law students. Students who take advantage of BU's Externship Program graduate with more than a law degree on their resume - they also possess relevant legal work experience that will serve them well in their search for their first professional position.