By: TJ Bullock ’24
I am grateful for the financial support provided by the William F. Savino ’75, Elizabeth Martin Savino ’92, & Emma M. Savino ’18 Summer Fellowship Award. I would also like to express my appreciation to the University at Buffalo School of Law (“UB”) and UB’s Career Services for preparing me for this summer internship. Another thank you goes to Bridget O’Connell for her hard work setting up informative seminars throughout my internship. Finally, I owe a big thank you to the Honorable Henry J. Nowak, his law clerk John Zeigler, and his other staff, Mary and Sara, for providing me with this opportunity and creating this unique and memorable summer internship experience.
Interning with Honorable Henry J. Nowak, New York State Unified Court System, Eighth Judicial District Commercial Division, was a privilege. I am grateful for being able to spend most days of the week working in person and getting a hands-on mentorship from Judge Nowak himself.
I worked under the direct guidance of Judge Nowak on various writing and research assignments, including a draft decision. When Judge Nowak was too busy, his clerk John Zeigler and the librarians were brilliant and generous with their time. It was awesome to observe each team member’s different yet sophisticated skills utilized in their career. I hope to be able to emulate such impressive skill and breadth of knowledge someday.
Judge Nowak mostly handles health law cases, and at first, I was intimidated by the wide range of legal questions that can stem from what appeared to be such straightforward matters. Still, the subject quickly became manageable with Judge Nowak’s guidance. While I was fortunate to have experienced and fallen in love with health law, I also sampled other exciting legal subjects, such as election law, contract law, and matrimonial law. It was beneficial to witness such a wide range of legal subjects.
Putting into practice what I spent a year learning was a confidence boost. During the internship, I used my legal writing skills and newly-acquired legal knowledge and started developing my own style. As I excelled in my internship, Judge Nowak gave me more and more opportunities to write, research, and attend meetings with him. The faith Judge Nowak showed in my abilities toward the end of my internship showed me how far I have come. It has made me confident that I will be a great attorney.
Further, this unique internship experience gave me a deeper appreciation of the responsibility held by the judges, law clerks, and every judicial staff member here in the Eighth Judicial District. Judge Nowak was constantly juggling his many duties while trying to provide the most efficient and fair service of the law. Observing Judge Nowak encourage settling, write decisions, smooth over hiccups between attorneys and their clients, and handle misunderstandings of law made me realize how broad-minded and experienced judges have to be.
This experience has left me excited for the next two years of law school because I cannot wait to be a productive member of the legal community.
Name: T.J. Bullock ’24
Name of Fellowship: William F. Savino ’75, Elizabeth Martin Savino ’92, & Emma M. Savino ’18 Summer Fellowship
Placement: NYS Unified Court System, 8th Judicial District, Commercial Division, Hon. Henry J. Nowak
Location: Buffalo, NY
One important lesson I have learned from this fellowship: “This unique internship experience gave me a deeper appreciation of the responsibility held by the judges, law clerks, and every judicial staff member. It has left me excited for the next two years of law school because I cannot wait to be a productive member of the legal community.”