Army Attorney Job Aspirations for New York Native and 2L Alexander Yetwin
by Mahsa Khalilifar
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For 23-year-old Alexander Horowitz Yetwin, a life in law was one in which he saw a successful future.
"I was attracted to the opportunity to help solve real-world problems in structured [forums]…and I wanted a career with good earning potential," Yetwin says.
Yetwin grew up in Schenectady, New York. He attended New York University, where he received his bachelor's degree in politics.
Yetwin, who is known to friends as just "Alex," is currently at Brooklyn Law School, which he adds has "a good reputation and location." When Yetwin graduated from college, he wanted to stay in the New York metro area, so he decided to continue his education in the vicinity.
Not only is Yetwin a law student, but he's also part of the New York National Guard. He serves one weekend per month and two weeks per year. He hasn't been overseas but is enlisted, and his rank is specialist.
"I am considering becoming an Army lawyer, called a JAG (judge advocate general) officer in the future, but I will have to see about that when the time comes," he says.
As far as law school goes, Yetwin says he enjoys being stimulated by the law.
"The process of intellectual development you go through in law school, while rigorous, can be rewarding," he explains. "I also like to learn about the stories and the drama behind well-known events, as expressed in case law."
Since Yetwin is a 2L, he's still somewhat new to the whole law school experience, but he does have a couple of favorite subjects for now which intrigue him.
"My favorite courses right now are Immigration Law and Employment Law," he says. "I like Immigration Law because of its great versatility; it can be used to oppress people as easily as it can be used to give them relief. Employment Law is a good class because the professor is not fond of large concentrations of capital, so it makes for interesting political debate when he gets on his soapbox."
Right now, Yetwin is currently completing an internship he found on his school's job-posting website while attending law school.
"I am currently a policy intern at Progressive States Network — a group providing coordinated research and strategic advocacy tools to state legislators and their staffs. My job is to do research," he says.
Q. What do you do for fun?
A. These days, I tend to spend most of my free time on the couch, but NYC nightlife is always fun on the weekends. If I have a lot of free time, I'll even pick up a book that has nothing to do with the law.
Q. What CD is in your CD player right now, or what was the last song you heard?
A. The last song I heard was "No Endz, No Skinz" by Big L.
Q. What is the last magazine you read?
Q. What is your favorite TV show?
A.How It's Made on the Discovery Channel.
Q. Who is your role model?
A. My grandfather, because he overcame tremendous obstacles to come to this country and become a successful businessman.
Q. What do you think of the current job industry? Are you hopeful about finding a good law job?
A. I am confident that eventually I will settle into a good job, but I expect the first few years of my career to be a little hectic.
Q. Will you stay in your state for a law job, or is another state more appealing at this point?
A. I will probably stay in New York, but you never know when you might find an opportunity to move somewhere with nicer weather.
Q. What is something most people don't know about you?
A. I secretly want to be a gourmet chef, but I don't know anything about cooking. I can make pasta and really good omelets.
If Yetwin doesn't decide to become an Army lawyer, he has his sights set on another field of interest that takes him back to his roots.
"I would like to work in the field of immigration law, either in private practice or in the public service sector," he says. "My grandparents and great-grandparents came to this country from other places and built successful lives for themselves, and I thought it would be rewarding to help a new generation of immigrants achieve the same dream."
Hoping to graduate in the spring of 2009, Yetwin offers some candid advice to his law peers:
"Don't let the pressure of grades and exams get to you. Allow yourself to enjoy the process of learning the law."
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