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Law School to Career: My First Job As An Assistant County Attorney

At St. Thomas University, we are committed to the success of our students inside and outside of the classroom. Our Law School to Career series will feature and celebrate STU Bobcats and their internship and first job experiences. Get to know STU Bobcat, Claudia Capdesuner , and about her first job experience as an Assistant County Attorney.

1.Name: Claudia Capdesuner

2. J.D./ LL.M/ Concentration/ Certificate: J.D.

3. Graduation Year: 2017

4. Where do your work and what is your title? Broward County Office of the County Attorney, Title: Assistant County Attorney

5. How did you find out about your job and secure it? I was lucky to have Dean Fernandez as my career counselor. During one of our meetings in my first year of law school she got me in touch with Dean Dykas about interning in a government role. Through her connections, Dean Dykas helped me secure a position as a summer clerk with the County Attorney’s Office. I loved my experience. For the rest of my time in law school I continued to stay in the touch with attorneys at the Office by visiting them at work or at networking events that St. Thomas helped me attend. My persistence and the support of my school paid off when I was offered an interview and later a job during my last semester of law school.

6. What does a day at work look like? Every day is different, that is one of my favorite aspects of my job. I mainly have a transactional practice in the areas of Real Property, Housing, Budget, and Finance. But, on any given day I could be answering questions posed by a Commissioner, working on a constitutional challenge, or, most recently, helping draft and review emergency orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The exposure to so many different areas of the law has been a lot of fun for me and I have learned a great deal.

7. What’s your favorite part about your job? My favorite part about my job is seeing the work I do make a difference for the residents and visitors of Broward County.

8. What challenges have you faced at your first job and how have you overcome them? Although I love the variety of work my job allows me to perform, as a first-year attorney it was challenging. I hold my work to a very high standard and producing quality work in areas of the law I knew little to nothing about was not always easy. I worked hard to educate myself, I was not afraid to ask meaningful questions, and I relied on the excellent education I received at St. Thomas.

9. How does your job connect back to your coursework and extracurricular activities at STU? In law school I served as an Active Learning Instructor. My job was to help first-year students with Property I and II. By teaching students, I was able to reinforce concepts I learned myself during my first year. As I work on real property issues for Broward County, I often refer back to many of the property concepts I learned and taught. Additionally, I was a member of the Moot Court and had the opportunity compete. The constant practicing for competition helped me get rid of my stage fright and taught me how to effectively argue. I do not think I would feel as comfortable in front of a judge as I do now if it was not for Moot Court.

10. What advice do you have for Bobcats that are starting the job hunt? I think that it is important to be an excellent overall package, especially in this competitive market. You need to have the grades, the experience, and the personality. Employers evaluating recent graduates will want a candidate with good grades and a strong academic background. They will also want to see that you have practical skills. Internships and clinical programs will help you gain those skills, so take advantage of as many of these opportunities as you can. A good personality is also very important. You want to be professional and likeable so that you can make connections that turn into job opportunities and so that employers know you are a good match with the company’s culture.

11. Describe your job in a GIF?

Learn more about how Career Services can help you find the right internship or job for you!
If you’re interested in sharing your internship or first job experience with STU News? Reach out to Yamile Rodriguez at yamilerodriguez@stu.edu.

Yamile Rodriguez

Author Yamile Rodriguez

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