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Alumni judge gives Camels an inside view of the legal system

Pictured from left: Tom Giblin '10, the Honorable Robert H. Gardner '82, Aditi Juneja '12 and Steve Strauss '07. 
August 17, 2011

Thanks to an alumni connection and Connecticut College's funded internship program, rising senior Aditi Juneja is getting an insider's view of the legal world.

Juneja, an economics major from Princeton, N.J., is an intern in the office of the Honorable Robert H. Gardner '82, presiding judge over the Superior Court of New Jersey's criminal division.

She's one of five current and former Connecticut College students to have internships in his office since 2008. Last August, he selected Steve Strauss ’07, a recent Temple University graduate, from among 200 applicants as his new law clerk.

“The ‘Conn College’ line on my resume caught his eye,” said Strauss, now associate attorney in probate, estate and civil litigation at Berkowitz, Lichstein, Kuritsky, Giasullo, and Gross in West Orange, N.J. “When I went into (Gardner’s) inner office for an interview, the first thing he says is, ‘I have something I want you to see,’ and pointed me to his 1982 degree.”

Gardner, who majored in government at Connecticut College, contacted the Office of Career Enhancing Life Skills (CELS) in 2007 to offer internships to Connecticut College students from New Jersey.

"Since they're going to school out of state, it's kind of hard to break into the legal world," Gardner said. "I thought it would be good to help expose them to what we do here in the law."

Also interning with Gardner this summer is Tom Giblin '10, who is currently a student at Boston College Law School.

Juneja is considering a career in law and will use the experience to help her decide whether to apply to law school after she graduates in May. She said the College's $3,000 funded internship stipend, available to all students who complete the CELS program, allowed her to choose an internship option that fit her professional aspirations.

So far it has paid off. Juneja's daily duties include preparing sentencing documents, discussing sentencing terms and rules with Gardner, observing courtroom proceedings, research and legal writing.

"I feel after spending time here that the law is something that I really enjoy," Juneja said. "At this point, it's something worth pursuing."

- By Chase Hoffberger '07

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