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In Focus Lia Mulligan

Lia Mulligan '07
Interdisciplinary Studies, HCLAS


Lia Mulligan, Class of 2007, majored in interdisciplinary studies at Hofstra. Her favorite class, “Psychology of the Criminal Justice System,” really inspired her to consider a career in law. When Lia’s professor presented her with the opportunity to intern at Queens Criminal Court she jumped at it.

Lia says, “I had no idea what the internship would be like, but I knew it would help me in my studies.” She was pleasantly surprised to be assigned to shadow a judge and clerk, where she was brought into chambers and able to learn about the law and court proceedings from the judge’s perspective. She sat in on numerous criminal trials and pretrial hearings. “If I’m going to be a trial lawyer, it definitely helps to have some insight into the judge’s thought process. The internship was an invaluable experience.”

By working closely with her professor and the office of Off-Campus Education (OCE), Lia was able to complete the internship for course credit. She kept weekly journal entries and wrote a final paper about a challenge to a ruling made by the judge she shadowed.

Lia was sure to add the internship to her resume and law school applications. “At the time I didn’t realize how it would help me, but it turns out that every job and law school interview involved some questions about the internship. It was an experience that turned out to be essential.”

Lia is currently a law student at Boston University and plans to graduate in 2011. Last summer she did a second internship at the Rockland County Supreme Court. She adds, “Next year I’m taking criminal procedure, and I feel because of my internships I will have a better understanding of the course material than most of the students in the class.”

Advice Lia has for other students considering an internship is: “If you start it, you must finish. There may be some times when the experience doesn’t seem worthwhile, but an internship is a very good use of your time – especially in this job market. See it through; commit to it.”

She adds, “You have to be an advocate for yourself. While having a support system is terrific and certainly very helpful, at the end of the day you are the one who has to do the work, push yourself forward and achieve your goals.”

Students starting an internship she says, “should be positive, be professional and have fun. If nothing else you can come to the conclusion that this certain line of work isn’t for you, and you can focus on another area of study that interests you.”