Summer Jobs Spotlight: Verrill Dana Offers Student Firsthand Legal Experience

Watching Verrill Dana partner Robin Murphy during a pro bono mediation session with a family going through a custody battle, BBA Summer Jobs Student Suzett Amado found herself engaged the whole time.

“Robin just got right to the point. She really listened to them and got them to agree without arguments,” Amado said, impressed.

When she began her summer in the BBA Summer Jobs Program, Amado said she expected the internship to involve a heavy load of administrative tasks. While she did her fair share of those, she said she was pleasantly surprised and grateful to have experienced some aspects of the legal profession firsthand, such as Murphy’s pro bono family law practice.

Over the course of the summer, Amado expanded her legal vocabulary. She learned what a deposition was, and was eventually invited to sit in on one. Amado took BBA President Mark Smith’s advice from the Summer Jobs kickoff event, where he told the students to ask attorneys at their firm about their ‘war stories.’

“When I applied, I never expected to get as much one-on-one experience with attorneys. We get lunch sometimes, where I’ve gotten to talk to real people who have done things like work on murder cases, and that has been really interesting,” she said.

Amado said working at Verrill Dana has been a unique experience compared to past summer employment. Specifically, she said the firm is very organized and employees are expected to be professional, which has made her feel “more prepared to handle a 9-5 job.”

“I feel like I know better now what it means to have an office job, and answer phones and talk to people. I even got to have my name on my cubicle, which was really nice,” she said.

Out of the enrichment seminars the students attended each Wednesday, Amado said the mock city council hearing was her favorite. Led by former city council president and Nixon Peabody partner Larry DiCara, the students had the interactive experience of debating a hypothetical city ordinance.

“I knew that the city’s government existed, but it was cool to be a part of the discussion rather than sitting by and watching,” she said.

Amado, who just began her senior year at Boston Latin Academy, is interested in pursuing a career in law. While she doesn’t know what practice area she would like to focus on, she aspires to one day work as a district attorney.

“The Summer Jobs Program is a good opportunity for anyone who wants to go into law. You learn a lot interning at a law firm – especially a firm like Verrill Dana,” she said.