Pathways to the Profession: Veronica Sanchez L’20
Editor’s Note: Each summer Penn Law students hone their skills through a wide array of private and public sector internships across the country and around the world. Generous financial support and fellowships for international and public interest work enable students to pursue diverse assignments in the United States and abroad. This post is one in a series of firsthand accounts detailing how students’ summer employment opportunities are preparing them for their legal careers.
Veronica Sanchez L’20 is a 3L from Miami, FL. She graduated cum laude from Vanderbilt University with English Honors as an English Literary Studies major and Corporate Strategy minor.
This summer, I am interning at the Miami Regional Office of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as part of their Student Honors Program. The SEC’s mission is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and to facilitate capital formation through securities and financial market regulation. I have been assigned to the Division of Enforcement, and within that, to the Trial Unit. Even though I am working in one of the 11 regional offices, the work that I have seen here spans across the country. I have been lucky enough to perform research and draft language for legal documents that will protect investors across the United States, while sitting in the regional office of my hometown: Miami, Florida.
In my work in the Trial Unit, I have been reading civil pleadings and other legal documents, writing drafts of civil motions, and performing legal research. The lessons that I have learned in my Legal Writing classes, combined with my knowledge of trial advocacy, allow me to best help my mentors and supervising attorneys here. I have even touched on lessons from Criminal Law because, even though the SEC has civil jurisdiction, we work closely with the Department of Justice on parallel criminal actions. My work at the Penn Legal Assistance Office, or Civil Practice Clinic, has also provided me with useful experience, as has my work last summer at the Miami-Dade County Attorney’s Office. Although the facts and legal issues surroundings the cases are not the same, as I have never before worked with securities or investments, the fundamentals are the same.
If I ever have a question about my SEC assignments, however, I never hesitate to ask because everyone here is so welcoming and so brilliant. The attorneys are experts in their field, and they understand that the interns are not (yet). They willingly take the time to discuss strategy and legal issues with us, often providing guidance and feedback that we can use so that every assignment completed is better than the last. The SEC also kindly offers many different seminars and training workshops to which the interns are invited, some even unrelated to securities and investments, so we can expand our knowledge on various topics, both to better do our work here and for our own personal growth.
I will keep the lessons that I learn here, lessons about both life and the law, with me when I go back to Penn Law for my final year and then back to Miami when I return after graduation. I hope to use them and my Penn-acquired legal skills for the benefit of not only my local community, but also the national community, just like the work that I get to do here at the SEC.