“It’s Intense… High Expectations, Support, Responsibility”
My name is Adam Walk and I am a third year law student at NYLS. And prior to going to law school I went to CXXX School undergrad and I did some film and TV work for few years after college. It was a long, sort of a whiny road to go to a law school and get me working here at ALB PC, but I’m happy I made it. I may just ask what I like to do about law. I enjoy property, real estate, obviously that’s why I’m here, I like litigation, I’m interested in criminal law as well. So I thought that I hadn’t worked in a sort larger firm environment so this was a great opportunity, a great firm with great reputation, with a great leader, Adam, who is a really good guy. And it’s litigation, they do litigation, so I thought I get involved and see what that was all about and I got more than I thought I could. So that’s how I got here.
Q: What was your role here at ALB PC?
A: My role here was to assist anybody here that needed assistance. Like any job, there are going to be tasks or what someone would say Xerox and office organizing. The more I did that, the more I realized that this is a very important part of litigation, not the stuff you see on Law & Order, but in order for the people on Law & Order to say things to the jury there’s a lot of research and a lot of organizing and searching for certain information and certain cases. So I did a lot of research for cases, I got couple of opportunities to write memos which turned into motions, I did a really interesting preliminary injunction motion, it was like 20 pages long, it was really great, it really brought me back into how to write a motion, and I had a great support group here who would help me every step of the way.
In addition to that, I worked on a case that was going to trial, it was a rent control case. We were trying to prove that the father and son were not living together for two years and therefore the father couldn’t pass the apartment along to the son. And I got to do a lot of investigation, it was exciting. I went through all these documents, I was trying to see if the son and the father were committing fraud. It was really one of those stories you get in law school where you are handed ten folders and you are told to make this not a fishing expedition. It’s a fishing expedition, but make it so that we can go to our client you can say “now we have a real case”. So I did that, which is a lot of writing, a lot of talking about cases, sort of thinking different theories about the case. I would say that I didn’t feel like an intern, I felt like a lawyer and that is great. It is what you make of it. That was my goal.
Q: What was it like working at ALB PC?
A: It was very nice, I very much enjoyed it. It’s intense, but I think any good law firm that’s busy and has people that have very high expectations as they should, it’s going to be intense. But it wasn’t intense to a fault, it wasn’t intense a point where I have been in an office where it’s so intense that it is counter-productive, or walking on egg shells. That’s not the case here, everybody is more than willing to help, everybody is supportive, everybody is generally nice. That said, if you are not doing the work, they are not going to let you slide by, they are not going to scold you, but they are going to say: “this is what we expect of you and you should do it”. And that is exactly what people in law school and myself need. We need to know what’s expected, we need to know when someone asks us to do something, we have to get it done and it’s the real world, and there is no like: “oh, I couldn’t do it because of this and that.” You do it. and what’s nice and exciting about working here is that you want to do it. You are given responsibility, they are giving it to you, so in that respect it’s not like you have somebody hanging over your shoulder the whole time while you are working. You do work, you come talk to them and they give you feedback. That was really nice, they give you multiple responsibilities, and while they check up on me once in a while, it was never “oh, is this done and that done”. I knew what the due dates were, we were going to get it done, whether I was here or working at home, it was really in my hands and I think this is something different about being an intern here. You’re really treated like a lawyer, and what’s goes along with it is that they expect you to do what you said you were going to do. I like that kind of responsibility. Everybody is really nice, they really are. I think it is a very comfortable office environment.
Q: Did you get to work with Mr. Bailey directly?
A: I did. I actually got to see Mr. Bailey doing a deposition for the case I was referencing to about the father and son. That was awesome. He really takes it seriously as he should and he looks at every case and I think he places himself in the shoes of the client. So when he’s fighting for the clients, it’s almost as like he is fighting for himself which makes him even a better lawyer. So I did get to work with him directly on that, and I also got to speak with him a variety of times when I went to lunch with him once. He is obviously a great lawyer and an excellent advocate but he also has a softer side, he is a really nice guy, he is one of those guys if that he says he’s going to do something for you, he is going to do it. And if he says he has your back, he has your back. And unfortunately this is, if you find in lawyers, that’s few and far in between. If Adam told me he was going to do something for me, I have no doubt he is going to do it. but in order to have that relationship with Adam, he expects you to do work. So if you live up to your responsibilities, he would go above and beyond and help you, whether it be getting a job here or somewhere else, he wants to help his interns when they produce work quality and make an effort. He’s good.
Q: What have you learned from working here?
A: I’ve learned two things. For me, I came here wined to see what law office environment was. Before I get to that, let me just say the legal stuff. I’ve learned a lot about drafting motions, what’s important and what’s not. I had a motion that was 25 pages, and by talking to some of the senior people here like Mr. John Desiderio, we were able to streamline that and in turn help me learn how to write stronger, more persuasive motions. I’ve also learned that when the law says certain things, many times the bottom line is, it’s litigation, it’s a human system and you can have all the law in the world on your side but if you are coming across a judge that is not in your favor, the judge can do whatever he wants to do. You need to make arguments beyond the law that affect the human aspect of the human system. And I learned that that’s very important.
As to the law office environment, for anyone that hasn’t worked in one it’s a little bit of a shock. I haven’t really worked in an office, I worked in a small firm, I worked at the ADA, I never worked in to say midsize firm but it is a law firm, law office environment. I learned about dealing with people, or I learned about… making sure when I got an assignment or when I was talking to somebody about something, finding out when it was due, what were the priority of it. Because things come up all the time and if you have three things on your list and one is due Monday, the other one on Tuesday, and another one Wednesday. And if someone comes in and says: “oh, Adam, I need this new thing done by this afternoon” I may be able to do that so long as I got the other three assignments, asked them, inquire when the due date is, day X, is it of intense priority, being something else comes up, is it okay if I do that. I also learned that you need to notify all the parties involved when your schedule is changing. Nobody is going to get upset with you, if you have other things to do and you can’t finish it, they are going to get upset with you if you don’t tell them about it. And I think this is just the little things but it matters a lot. And I learned that.
Q: What was the one thing or experience that would stand out in your mind that you gained from working here?
A: Seeing Adam do a deposition was just really great. I would never forget that. He is intense in the best way. And I have seen a few depositions before, nothing like this. And I think he gave me a goal to strive to. And I would never forget that.
And then writing this motion has been just great. I’m sure many of you watching this are probably law students interning and after first year, if you are interning, you are not writing motions really. Nobody says: “have fun, write a motion for no reason”. So coming back, getting assigned this big motion really made me realize “wow, rusty” but once I got into it, I was like “I’m so much better in writing now” not because I’ve been practicing writing, but because I’ve been taking exams and learning how to think like a lawyer. And that transfers to writing. And that was a huge confidence boost. And I think that’s great.
Q: What would you consider the best aspect of working at ALB PC?
A: I think, it has to be two, I’m sorry, I can’t do one. The best aspect of me working here was that I was given responsibilities. And that when you come in here as an intern, they treat you with respect. They wouldn’t have asked you to come here if they didn’t have confidence in your work product. And they are going to say, they are going to give you assignments and let you do it. That is just great. I had a few places where they don’t just let you do it, they don’t trust you. For me it doesn’t help anybody if you are not giving them the trust and then helping them.
The other thing is the people. The people are just nice. Nice people and its nice to come in to the office. I remember the first Obama debate with Romney, I had a 30 minute conversation with one of the associates here. It’s just nice to know that I can come in to an environment and everybody is serious about the work but at the same time everybody is going to have a nice conversation. I enjoyed that.
Q: Do you have any other comments or suggestions?
A: I think this is a great place to work, it’s great place to get experience. And if you are really looking for an opportunity to see what is done in a real estate litigation firm, I don’t think you can get better than here. Because you get the responsibilities, it’s a nice environment, and you are going to learn a lot. And then you are a real world ready. I mean, after you work here you really think you have lots of attributes that people think that people that haven’t had that opportunity are lacking. And when you get a job, when you graduate, and you go in and they say” “can you do XYZ?” maybe you are going to be able to, and maybe even more importantly you are going to have the confidence that you can. And that’s priceless.
Q: Do we have your permission to post this on our website?
A: You have my permission.
Q: Thank you.