Amber Marin: Starting Law School with a Leg Up
Originally from Connecticut, Amber Marin graduated from Bryant University in 2019. After participating in summer 2019 Lex Fellowship in Rome, Amber Marin began law school at American University. In the following post, she discusses the various highlights of her Fellowship experience.
Why did you choose The Lex Fellowship?
I chose the Lex Fellowship because I don't have a law background; I majored in economics and psychology with a minor in finance. I knew that law was a passion for me, so I wanted to get a taste of doctrinal classes and have the real-world experience of meeting with attorneys and seeing their work from a day-to-day perspective. I had already taken the leap of faith and applied to law school, but I thought the program would be a great warm-up.
What did your parents think of The Lex Fellowship?
My parents have always been super supportive of all of the different traveling and programs I've participated in because they know that I’m going out and getting the experience I need. Lex was an especially invaluable experience for me since I'm a first generation college student. My parents always want the best for me, but don’t quite know how to support me, so I’ve always tried to find opportunities that will help me build a network and move me forward toward my goals.
Once I got to Rome, I’d FaceTime my family and show them the sites over the phone. Although she was nervous at first, my mom is super happy now that I did Lex.
Did it meet your expectations?
Definitely, and so much more. Connecting with the professional community really eased my nerves coming into my first year, especially since I went to a business school and didn’t have that legal network. My Legal Advisor Brooke Rink, who is a 2L at George Washington Law, was amazing and has continued to stay in touch with me as I now begin law school. She told me about professors and people she knows here at American University.
Why did you decide to go to Europe rather than our D.C. location?
For people who want to study and practice domestically and are focused on the American justice system or American politics, D.C. is an invaluable place to do the Lex Fellowship. However, I’d already visited D.C. for a different program. Since I want to go into corporate law and we have an ever globalizing world, a broad international corporate network was really important for me.
What was Rome like?
In the middle of the summer, it was a bit hot, but we powered through. The attorneys we met with were super nice, the city was beautiful, the food was amazing. It was everything Rome could offer and more! I also have a bit of background in the language because half of my family are Italian. I knew I wanted to explore that side of my own personal culture while having a fun educational experience. I think I got to do both. I remember thinking: "Wow, now I know why my uncles say the things they do!"
Tell me about one of your favorite excursions.
One day we went to a virtual reality experience of the history of Rome. It was a personal audio tour where I got to see what Rome looked like through the ages, especially because it is a city built on a city. I love history, so that was an amazing experience for me. Then we enjoyed a really nice meal at a cute little lunch spot. It was a really nice day.
What was your most memorable firm visit?
My most memorable first visit was Rödl & Partners. I'm really interested in going into the Mergers & Acquisitions field of law, and Roberto, the attorney there, explained everything simply and concisely, but also with the recognition that we had some background knowledge and understanding. The case was really interesting too; it covered a lot of current events. Roberto’s background with the EU and their legal system was impressive. He even told us the history of the office building in which we sat - it was built on old Roman ruins.
Expand a bit on how Brooke helped you.
Since she knew I was going into my first year, Brooke was very specific and realistic about what law school was like. I really appreciated that. She had us knock down our idealized version of law and was candid about the workload and reading. She really emphasized the human side of things, and reminded us to make time to relax with friends outside of law school.
Why would you recommend this program to friends?
I think the unique aspect is its practicality. There are entry courses into law school; my roommates are actually doing something called BARBRI, which gives them a taste of the doctrinal classes, similar to what Brooke led during our afternoon sessions in Rome. But the Lex Fellowship offers a real and realistic understanding of what it's like to be a practicing lawyer. And then it also gives you that international exposure, which I think is super important.