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Thursday, November 8, 2012

What I Did This Summer: Christina S. Bailey ’14, Legal Intern, Secretary for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Securities Division

Christina Bailey is a second-year day student at New England Law | Boston. This past summer she worked as a legal intern for the Massachusetts Securities Division. As part of our new blog series highlighting student work Christina writes about her summer experience and explains how she found her internship.

Throughout high school and undergrad I was opposed to the idea of networking to find a job. I wanted to know that I got the job entirely based on my own efforts and merits. But with the legal job market the way it is, I realized that I should welcome help, not reject it. In the end, having a connection is how I found my summer job.

In March 2012, my mom ran into one of her friends who is an Assistant Secretary for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and mentioned to him that I was in law school. He told her that the Secretary’s Office hires legal interns and that if I was interested, to e-mail him my resume. I had just begun thinking about jobs for the summer and so decided to take him up on the offer. Aside from several quick back and forth e-mails, I didn’t hear back for about a month. I wanted to have as many options as I could so I also applied to several small firms in Boston using the JobNet on the CSO’s Simplicity site. On the last day of classes, I received a phone call from the Secretary’s Office offering me a position with the Securities Division. I know that I was extremely lucky to get this job because I was hired based off my resume alone without having an interview. 

I started the full-time position at the end of May. I was the only legal intern for the Registration, Inspection, Compliance, and Examination (RICE) section of the Division. As such, I was given a lot of responsibility. Throughout the summer, I constantly conducted researched and wrote memoranda. The skills that I learned in my Legal Research & Writing (LRW) course were extremely useful. I created detailed Excel files to help organize the production from several investigations and keep track of Investment Advisers who were in the processing of switching from the Securities and Exchange Commission to the Massachusetts registration. I also helped draft and proofread subpoenas, consent orders, and complaints; and I attended and took notes at several on the record depositions. In addition, I was entrusted with writing inquiry letters asking about certain disclosures made by broker-dealer agents attempting to register in Massachusetts.  

The hardest part of my job was learning how to prioritize and complete multiple projects efficiently while in a working environment. However, I’m very happy that I was exposed to that difficult experience because I know that it will help me be better prepared in the future. My favorite part of the internship was doing real-world legal work in a professional environment. It definitely confirmed the fact that I want to be a lawyer. 

I was extremely surprised by how much I liked working in securities. Before working for the Division, I hadn’t even considered securities as a field I might be interested in and honestly, didn’t expect to enjoy the work. I am so happy that I decided to take the job because I now want to pursue a career in securities and business law. This internship experience taught me to not be closed minded about working in different areas of law. As a law student, especially a 1L, there are so many fields of law that we don’t know about or aren’t exposed to. How are we to know we don’t like something before we try it?

Towards the end of the summer my supervising attorney asked if I wanted to continue working part-time during the school year. Currently, I work 20 hours per week while keeping a full class schedule. Fall semester has been busy, but working part-time has been worth it because working for the Securities Division has absolutely helped me with my future plans. Knowing I wanted to work at a large firm after graduation, I applied to 2013 summer associate programs this fall and received an offer for a summer associate position from a top firm with a large securities practice. I am certain that I would not be in the position I am in today had I not taken a chance by sending in my resume and accepting an internship with the Securities Division at the Secretary’s Office. 

- Christina S. Bailey, Class of 2014

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