Budd Larner PC
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Valerie Murphy

Liberal Arts Major: English
Hometown: West Caldwell, New Jersey

How did you learn about this opportunity?

In my junior year of high school, I reached out to one of my previous basketball coaches who was a partner at Budd Larner PC, and inquired about available internship positions. The firm was looking for interns at that time, so I applied and was hired. Ever since then I have been asked to return to the firm as an intern during the summer. This will be my fifth summer working with Budd Larner.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This summer worked at Budd Larner PC, a law firm in Short Hills, New Jersey. I started my internship on May 29th and ended on August 3rd. I worked Monday through Friday (and sometimes had to go to meetings on Saturdays), from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (occasionally later). I worked alongside attorneys and paralegals during the “discovery” phase of litigation. I learned how to navigate Relativity (a document review/management software). Relativity essentially acts as a database that archives all documents produced by our client and adversary. From the thousands of documents, I conducted searches to find important e-mails, contracts, spreadsheets, and so on that would aid in building/strengthening our client’s case. Most of my internship was spent primarily reading and searching through long contracts and other documents. I would have the opportunity to sit in on and contribute to strategy meetings with the attorney and our client. Because I had significant knowledge about how to use the Relativity database, I would give the attorneys and clients a tutorial on how to conduct basic searches. I also typed out a comprehensive guide about how to use Relativity, which other interns as well as attorneys use for reference.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I feel that this internship enhanced my reading and critical thinking skills (and because I am an English major, sharpening these skills will make me even more prepared for my coursework next semester). My ability to communicate through mediums such as e-mails, Skype, and face-to-face meetings have also improved because of the consistent practice I have had while interning at Budd Larner. I have become more confident speaking publicly, as well as expressing my thoughts through writing due to conversing daily with the attorneys and clients. I believe that these transferrable skills will have a positive impact on my academic performance at Penn State and beyond. After speaking during intense meetings surrounded by a group of professionals, I feel that actively participating in a more relaxed environment (like a classroom setting at Penn State) will feel effortless. Another invaluable skill I can bring back to Penn State and apply to my academics is time management. I was given hard deadlines to finish a task, and so I would have to be able to divide my time efficiently and make judgements about which task was most important and had to be finished immediately, and which task could be completed later. Being able to recognize the different levels of urgency per each task and creating a plan of how and when to tackle each is useful in every aspect of life, especially while at Penn State, when I have to balance completing several assignments at once.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

After I graduate Penn State in 2019, I intend to start law school in Fall 2019. Although I do not have a comprehensive knowledge of all practice areas of law, I most likely see myself practicing in commercial litigation. My internship experience just reinforced that this is the profession I belong in. Working at Budd Larner allowed me to witness what the day-to-day business is like at a law firm, and made me more confident about my decision to take the LSAT and apply to law school, as I was able to visualize myself excelling in that type of working environment.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this internship experience to students that are thinking about pursuing a career in law. Students will get hands-on experience, and network with the attorneys and paralegals (possibly leading to future internship/employment opportunities).

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

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