My Summer Working “On Behalf of the United States”

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By: Gia Marciniak ’24

Interning at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York (“USAO”) far exceeded my expectations. As a law clerk, I researched complex and interesting legal issues, improved my writing skills, observed multiple court proceedings, drafted court documents, visited other Buffalo agencies, and made meaningful connections. I also had the honor of meeting Attorney General Merrick Garland.

During my time at the USAO, I was assigned to four Assistant United States Attorneys (“AUSAs”) where I gained exposure to both the Criminal and Civil divisions. Specifically, within the Criminal Division, I worked with attorneys in the White Collar and Narcotics and Violent Crime sections. I received research assignments regarding a wide array of topics relating to both criminal and civil matters. These included Fourth Amendment protections, medical malpractice claims, compassionate release motions, search warrant parameters, and more. With this research, I drafted memorandums of law for AUSAs and contributed to trial preparations. This internship gave me the opportunity to expand on the research and writing skills I learned during my 1L year. Being able to apply these skills to real-life scenarios was especially rewarding.

In addition to my day-to-day work in the office, my fellow law clerks and I visited multiple agencies in Buffalo as part of the law clerk program. For instance, we visited the Peace Bridge and toured the border crossing. We also visited the Erie County Crime Analysis Center, Central Police Services Lab, and the FBI field office where we learned about the technology used during investigations. Additionally, the Erie County Sherriff’s Office took us on a boat tour with their marine division and allowed us to spend a day at their training center. Visiting these agencies allowed us to see how they build their cases to help the USAO prosecute crimes happening within our district.

Most importantly, I made meaningful connections this summer. First, I connected with my assigned AUSAs. I received assignments, helpful feedback, and learned a lot about what it means to be a federal prosecutor. Second, I connected with my fellow law clerks. We worked together in a library and were able to bounce ideas off each other and ask for help when needed. Third, I made connections with the administrative staff who helped me understand the day-to-day operations of this office. The most surprising and rewarding part of this summer was making lasting connections which will follow me throughout my career.

I would like to thank Michael A. Battle (’81) for his generous donation to the University at Buffalo School of Law Summer Public Interest Funding and Fellowship Program. Receiving this fellowship made it possible for me to intern as a law clerk at the USAO this summer. During my first week conducting legal research in my position, I came across Mr. Battle’s name as I read cases from the Western District of New York. I quickly learned how influential Mr. Battle was in public interest, both as an AUSA and later as the United States Attorney for the Western District of New York. I would not trade this summer experience for anything. Without this donation I would not have been able to dedicate my summer to public interest.

Name: Gia Marciniak ’24
Name of Fellowship: Michael A. Battle ’81 Fellowship
Placement: United States Attorney’s Office
Location: Buffalo, NY
One important lesson I have learned from this fellowship: “I made meaningful connections this summer with my assigned AUSAs, my fellow law clerks and the administrative staff. The most surprising and rewarding part of this summer was making lasting connections which will follow me throughout my career.”