Second-year student Abbie Fagin ’13 says there is nothing like the energy and diversity of Morningside Heights. She goes on to note that it contrasts noticeably with the quiet, leafy suburb of Cleveland where she grew up.
As the social director for Columbia Law School’s Midwest Society, Fagin continues to value her connection to Ohio while enjoying the benefits of New York City. She regularly helps organize trivia nights, college football viewing parties, and career panels focused on the Midwest.
This past summer, Fagin returned to Cleveland as a law clerk in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio. The opportunity presented its share of challenges—and rewards. “I worked in an underfunded office in an underfunded city with a lot of crime and corruption,” says Fagin, who helped with civil and criminal tax investigations, as well as with bank robbery cases and sex trafficking trials. “They were badly in need of clerks, and I felt like I was directly contributing to the health of downtown Cleveland.”
This summer, though, Fagin plans on remaining in New York City. She will delve into estate and tax issues as a summer associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. In particular, Fagin is drawn to the problem-solving and client-based skills required of the tax field. “My mind functions very well when I can work on discrete provisions,” she says. Fagin adds that her preference for a collaborative and social environment makes the specialty an ideal fit: “It’s a really personal area of the law. I like the idea of being some family’s lawyer for 50 years.”