Law student spills on interplay between school and real-world work
Third year law student Robby Naoufal will be interning at the White House next summer. In the past, he has worked as a law clerk at the U.S. Department of Justice and is currently in Washington, D.C. as an associate at Hughes Hubbard and Reed LLP, an international law firm. The Chronicle’s Rebecca Chen chatted with Naoufal about the path that led him to the White House internship and what he looks forward to in the future.
The Chronicle: How did you get this internship?
Robby Naoufal: The application to the White House internship program is available online.
TC: Why do you want to do this internship?
RN: I’m hoping to make my law school experience even more rewarding by taking advantage of a chance to learn outside the classroom. The White House Internship Program is a great opportunity to utilize the skills I’ve developed so far in law school and apply them in the federal policy arena. I wanted to participate in this internship in particular because I knew I’d have the chance to meet with accomplished professionals and contribute to the work they’re doing.
TC: How do you think being at Duke School of Law has influenced your path to this internship?
RN: Duke Law has a strong tradition of public service and the law school does an excellent job of providing opportunities to students interested in that type of experience. The “Duke in D.C.” program provides students with an opportunity to gain valuable experience outside the classroom, at the heart of where federal policy making happens. The Duke Law faculty has immense experience serving at the highest levels of government and as a student I knew there was a lot to gain from working at the White House....
TC: What are you most excited about for your internship?
RN: The ability to witness, and have a role in, the federal policy making process. The White House works with the agencies to develop and implement important policy solutions to the challenges our country faces, from criminal justice reform to health care to economic development. As a learning experience, just witnessing the symphony of interagency collaboration is very rewarding.
TC: What do you want to do after graduation? How do you think this internship will tie into that?
RN: I can’t say for certain what I want to do after graduation in the long term. For now, I’ll be coming back to Washington, D.C. to work for a law firm with a focus on international regulation. I do hope to continue to build on my experience at the White House and work in federal policy making. This internship program provides a chance to talk with professionals with distinguished careers in both the public and private sector. So for now, I’ll gain some insight on how to develop real solutions to complex problems, and have some fun at the same time.