Shelby’s Reflections

Shelby Krzastek

Hello, readers of the blog! My name is Shelby, and I have been working as a legal intern at The Harman Firm, LLP, for the past five months. In that time, I hope you’ve been able to read some of my posts about employment law and workers’ issues. Today is my last day, and I wanted to leave you with some insights about my time here.

The Harman Firm is small, but I benefited from this experience because I got to work closely with everyone. To be honest, I was extremely nervous when starting this position. I had never worked in a law office before and am glad The Harman Firm believed in my capabilities and gave me this chance to work as their legal intern.

My first day as an intern at The Harman Firm was filled with reading articles, blogs, and learning the ins and outs of the firm. One of my main responsibilities is writing for this blog. I was overwhelmed by this idea because I had never researched employment law before; however, I jumped right in! I was shocked at the amount of cases, information, and violations that inundated the employment law sector. The amount of sexual harassment, discrimination, whistleblowing, retaliation, and compensation violations that take place on a daily basis is shocking. I immediately became excited to learn about this unknown area of law.

The lessons I learned became more real when I spoke to potential and current clients on the phone. I listened to their problems and tried to soothe their anxiety. After I write an intake report for a potential client, it gets passed along to the attorneys, who decide which cases are well suited for this firm. I appreciate being given this task because it is fundamental to the growth of the firm.

As a prospective pre-law student who was trying to explore different career options, my goals and expectations for this internship were very clear from the beginning. Specifically, I wished to gain as much knowledge as possible about the day-to-day life of lawyers, the working conditions in a New York City–based law firm, and the legal profession in general. I also took this time to think about whether a corporate office job is right for me as opposed to a freelance career.

My internship with The Harman Firm has fulfilled my expectations and more. I have a better understanding of the legal process, how attorneys work with each other and their clients, and how a client intake turns into a case. Throughout my tenure here, I have sharpened my writing skills immensely. Also, my interpersonal and research skills improved. I had to interact with different people every day, from lawyers to clients to judges’ chambers. This experience has enabled me to develop different manners of communication based on the specific situation. On a final note, this internship has left me with one key takeaway. The employees of this office are passionate about their work, despite the demanding workload and schedule. I have learned that, no matter what career I choose to pursue, I must be passionate about it. I know that the clients of The Harman Firm benefit from their lawyers’ passion for their work.