Oftentimes, litigation associates at large firms toil for years before being chosen to take part in a courtroom trial. But if his experience at the Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court was any indication, Geoffrey Cajigas ’11 may not have long to wait.
Cajigas fared extremely well in last year’s competition, which consisted of several elimination rounds leading up to the finals in April. Ultimately, he advanced to the last round, making his case before a very distinguished bench comprised of U.K. Supreme Court Justice Lord Collins of Mapesbury ’65 LL.M., 1st Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sandra Lynch, and 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Robert Sack ’63. The trial may have been a moot court, but the three judges were not treating it that way, and Cajigas welcomed the challenge. He especially enjoyed the process of devising new arguments and strategies to make his client’s case stronger. “What attracts me to litigation, and what I find really fulfilling about law,” Cajigas says, “is that you can be creative with your arguments.”
Cajigas will start work this fall in the litigation department at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City. He hopes to participate in a courtroom trial sooner, rather than later, by taking on pro bono cases, which the firm actively supports. There may be a time when Cajigas pursues public-interest work full-time, but at the moment, he is looking forward to settling into life at a large firm. “Everyone there is hyper-articulate, super-sharp and quick,” he says. “It’s energizing to be around people that driven.” In some ways, he explains, it will be similar to his three years at Columbia Law School, where his classmates were “fascinating” and just as driven as he was to succeed. “There’s an amazing array of interests among the students, and they’re just so capable,” Cajigas says. “You’re awed thinking about all of the things that they’re likely to accomplish.”