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Thursday, November 1, 2012

What I Did This Summer: Michael Card ’13, Legal Intern, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Michael Card is a third-year day student at New England Law | Boston. This past summer he worked as a legal intern for a New England Law alumnus at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. As part of our new blog series highlighting student work Michael writes about his summer experience and explains how he found his internship.

My summer internship came about as a last minute surprise from a friend’s connection. I slowly began looking for internships around Thanksgiving time of my second year. I had numerous promising leads that either eventually lost funding or required school credit which is not a possibility for internships not done through a school clinic. So, I was very disappointed and stressed as summer was quickly approaching. Right before the end of the second semester I had a number of job offers but none that I was really interested in. Then a friend called and told me a New England Law | Boston graduate was looking for help at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Under the supervision of this alumnus and two other attorneys in the Office of Faculty Activities, I was responsible for reviewing consulting and confidentiality disclosure agreements for, and between, Dana-Farber, Harvard Medical School faculty and pharmaceutical companies. This position was contract and intellectual property-based so I had a great opportunity to apply what my first year contracts course taught me and gain a head start on what I would learn in my intellectual property class. I was also able to apply what I had learned in my negotiation course as I reviewed the agreements and negotiated their terms with the pharmaceutical companies in favor of Dana-Farber’s faculty, the Institute’s protection of intellectual property and against liability.

The hardest part of my internship was learning the current regulations as well as the future changes, that were scheduled to go into effect in August 2012.  In order to effectively negotiate agreements I had to learn the current rules and regulations. However, to make sure the faculty and institution would not be in violation come August, I also had to learn the new regulations. I definitely learned the most as I researched the current and future regulations as well as the applicable intellectual property laws.

My favorite part of my experience was being able attend the conflict of interest advisory board meetings in which the board members discussed the current and future problems/positions of the partnership between cancer research institutions and the private sector. This was a completely unexpected and amazing experience, and something I will always remember.

This summer internship truly opened my career interest spectrum in terms of seriously considering healthcare and similar areas of law. Upon entering law school I was sure I only wanted to practice regulatory or securities law but now may also pursue a post-graduation position in this area of law due to this summer experience. Finally, I found my internship in part because the hiring attorney likes looking out for New England Law | Boston students and graduates which makes me extremely proud to be part of the New England Law | Boston network.

-Michael Card ’13

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