To the Hill and Back Again (via BU Law)
Michael Lezaja's ('12) Semester-in-Practice experience helped him find his permanent place in Washington, DC
An alumnus of Georgetown with an interest in politics and economics, Michael Lezaja ('12) was a paralegal at the Federal Trade Commission before law school and always considered returning to the nation’s capital. The Semester-in-Practice Program, which he pursued during his final semester at BU Law, was an ideal opportunity.
After discussing options with Professor Sean Kealy, Lezaja set his sights on the Department of Justice. His placement was in the National Criminal Enforcement Section of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, which handles international criminal conspiracies, primarily involving price fixing.
In his position, Lezaja was immersed in legal research and writing for cases being prosecuted in district courts all over the country. “The legal writing program at BU Law is excellent, but the demands of day-in, day-out legal writing gave me much-needed practice,” he says. “I think that because I was working full time, I was given better assignments and was able to work more collaboratively with the DOJ staff attorneys.”
Lezaja, who participated in staff meetings and trainings on substantive areas of antitrust law, stresses how important it was for him to simply observe lawyers and their interactions with witnesses and one another. He also notes that his mentors gave him valuable advice about preparing for his clerkship.
That advice—as well as the practical skills he sharpened during his SIP—come in handy in his current day-to-day work at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, where he clerks for Judge Christine Odell Cook Miller. After his clerkship, Lezaja will join the Washington, DC office of Ropes & Gray.