Jacob Fiddelman ’13 strongly considered applying for a federal court internship last summer. But after spending a day shadowing Judge Martin Marcus of the New York State Supreme Court in the Bronx, he recognized an opportunity that was too good to pass up and opted to work side-by-side with the trial judge.
“I didn’t have a separate office,” Fiddelman notes. “I sat with my laptop at the judge’s coffee table in his inner office in chambers, so I just had nonstop access. We would chat all day.”
Fiddelman, who serves as an articles editor for the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, consistently seeks out such hands-on experience, and the immediacy of his work with Marcus placed him on a steep—but rewarding—learning curve. “I saw six full trials, and I drafted four or five opinions,” he says.
As a computer science major at the University of Pennsylvania, Fiddelman found programming to be too isolating for his tastes. So he pivoted toward law, which, together with politics, had interested him for years. These spheres converged during his 2007 internship with the office of Congressman Chris Carney, where he analyzed earmarks and created the lawmaker’s website.
Fiddelman says his technology background and his Law School coursework have primed him to explore a possible career in intellectual property law or white-collar defense later this year as a summer associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom—though his work with Marcus has him considering public service, as well. “I think it would be really rewarding to be a prosecutor,” he says.