08.18.17 | Alumni Spotlight, Student Spotlight

Interview with Cory Montelus ’17

Interview with Cory Montelus ’17

July 2017

Q. Tell me about your path to choosing a legal career and how the Skadden Program fits in with your goals.
I found out about the Skadden Program through the Presidency course taught by Professor Bernstein. He suggested that I consider applying to the program as I had just recently decided not to continue with my pre-med major. Without the Skadden Program I would not have pursued law school. In fact, after leaving the pre-med major I was contemplating transferring to another college. Thankfully, Professor Bernstein suggested I consider a legal career.

Being part of a peer group of like-minded students was my favorite part of the program. Of the Skadden courses, Corporate Governance, was the most engaging course I took at CCNY. I gained practical knowledge that allowed me to converse with attorneys and other professionals while giving me insight in to the way corporations work and their role in society.

What are the most valuable skills you developed while in the Skadden Program?

The writing instruction was extremely helpful. My writing improved significantly and I liked that I was able to work with Matt on all my writing assignments and not just those for the program. I don’t think I would have been as successful a law school applicant without the support and instruction I received from the writing program.

My summer internship in the banking group at Skadden was eye-opening. I learned how important every detail could be; how the outcome of one case could have a significant effect throughout the industry; and the gravity of each case, no matter how small it initially seemed. That experience changed my work ethic.

As part of the program, I also had the opportunity to shadow a lawyer in court. I learned from that experience that I would not enjoy being in court very much. I also had the chance to work for an immigration lawyer. These experiences allowed me to gain a better understanding of the various roles available to a lawyer. I am currently interested in going into corporate law, and perhaps into the banking sector.

I will be attending USC Gould School of Law this fall. I had the chance to visit USC during spring break and was impressed with the school. It was my first time on the west coast and I’m looking forward to being part of a new community.

What is your advice for current and future Skadden students?

The Skadden Program provides you with many opportunities, but it takes a lot of work to do your best. In your first year of the program, take as few classes as possible; focus on developing your writing skills; and devote as much time as possible to LSAT preparation.