As a summer associate in the general counsel’s office at Credit Suisse after her first year of law school, Gabrielle Wolf ’13 witnessed the impact securities law can have on people’s lives.
“It brought a lot of color to the financial regulatory issues that have been in the news,” says Wolf. “With the tax and white-collar defense cases, there was much more on the line than just money. Careers were at stake.”
An added challenge, Wolf notes, was that many of the cases she was helping to contest were crafted by some of the government’s top lawyers. “One day it might be interesting to switch over to the prosecutorial side,” she says.
At the Law School, Wolf served as political chair for the Columbia Law Women’s Association. She has also focused on using her legal skills to make a lasting impact on New York City. The Barnard graduate helped draft the employee manual for Harlem’s new Global Community Charter School and worked closely with both the head of the school and its executive board to help make their educational vision a reality.
“The experience taught me how much flexibility there is within a school’s education system to meet certain goals and community needs,” says Wolf, who served as a summer associate working on corporate legal matters at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom this past year. “I hope the school will help students realize they have opportunities within their reach and can add value to the world.”
Wolf spent her final year at the Law School building relationships with faculty and exploring the history and philosophy of law—she especially enjoyed a seminar on the U.S. Supreme Court during Warren Burger’s time as chief justice. “Examining the impact the Burger Court had on today’s law has been illuminating,” Wolf says. “The Burger Court represented a large shift from the Earl Warren Court that preceded it.”
After graduation, Wolf will return to Skadden to work on international energy and infrastructure deals. She is already looking forward to the intellectual challenges of the new job and adds that she is particularly drawn to the complex, global negotiations that lie ahead. “Skadden does a lot of deals with the Qatari government,” Wolf says. “That should provide for some very interesting work.”