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Adam Brunk

Teaching Success

Winter 2012

Adam Brunk ’13 generally spends his weekdays like the average law student—juggling a busy schedule that includes classes, study time, and work on various projects. His Saturday mornings during the school year have been less typical. While most of Brunk’s classmates were catching up on rest, he headed back to lecture halls on campus. As a teacher for and then vice president of the Law School’s High School Law Institute, he helped train more than 120 high school students each weekend on the basics of criminal law, constitutional law, and the mock trial process.

“The experience really teaches you patience,” says Brunk, who spent two years working as a middle school science teacher before starting law school. “It’s about learning how to be a better communicator so that the person you’re speaking with understands you and isn’t left with a ton of questions.”

For his efforts, Brunk earned the Law School’s Irell & Manella Prize. The award honors students who demonstrate outstanding leadership in the Columbia Law School community.

This spring, Brunk heads to Paris, where he will complete his last semester as part of the Law School’s Global Alliance program at the University of Paris I and Sciences Po. Much of his time abroad will be spent learning the intricacies of European law, a topic he has explored as articles editor for the Columbia Journal of European Law.

While overseas, Brunk will take a break from teaching, but he hopes to remain involved with education issues after law school. “I could see running for a school board position,” says Brunk, who will join Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Manhattan after graduation. “I want to be able to give back in that way.”