Jacob Fiddelman ’13 realized after just one day spent shadowing Judge Martin Marcus of the New York State Supreme Court in the Bronx that working side-by-side with the trial judge was an opportunity too good to pass up. He began a summer internship with Marcus after his first year of law school and quickly saw the value of gaining experience in the judicial work environment.
“I didn’t have a separate office,” Fiddelman notes. “I sat with my laptop at the judge’s coffee table in his inner office in chambers, so I just had nonstop access. We would chat all day.”
A former articles editor for the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, Fiddelman consistently seeks out such hands-on experience, and the immediacy of his work with Marcus placed him on a steep—but rewarding—learning curve. “I saw six full trials, and I drafted four or five opinions,” he says.
The following year, Fiddelman broadened his legal focus as a summer associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, the computer science major worked on issues involving intellectual property law and white-collar defense.
During his final year at the Law School, Fiddelman spent much of his time focused on public interest law, and he participated in the Domestic Violence Prosecution Externship. As part of the program, Fiddelman served as the primary prosecutor representing New York State in nearly 30 misdemeanor assault cases, and he recently tried his first case in the city’s criminal court. The defendant was found guilty on all counts.
After graduation, Fiddelman will spend more time working alongside judges and learning about the finer points of federal law. This fall, he will clerk for Judge Cathy Seibel at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Following that, Fiddelman will clerk for Judge Reena Raggi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.
“I have a strong drive toward public service,” he says, “and, hopefully, I will have the opportunity to work as an assistant U.S. Attorney at some point in my career.”