Mary Alfred Heads to Washington

Mary Alfred '14 (JD)

San Diego (February 11, 2013) – Mary Alfred, '14 (JD), is a woman who makes things happen. At the beginning of her second semester in law school she began aggressively searching for summer work opportunities, and through a combination of smart on-line research and networking, she landed two excellent placements, one on Capitol Hill, and the other with a major corporation.

“I was afraid I’d have to give up one of these great opportunities, but then I met with Career Services (now the Office of Career and Professional Development) and learned about the law school’s new Washington D.C Externship Program. Fortunately, I was able to postpone the Capitol Hill placement until this spring so I could accept the other placement as well.”

In summer 2012, Mary worked for Hilton Worldwide at their offices in McLean, Virginia, primarily in the real estate division. “Most of the summer I spent working on a complex land-use issue involving a Hilton hotel in Hawaii. The hotel had a long-term ground lease that was about to expire, and the landowners were asking for a great deal of money to renew the lease, strengthening their bargaining power by alleging that Hilton had violated some terms in the original lease. Through diligent research Mary was able to shed light on many of these claims, leading to a far more favorable final re-negotiation price. “I think my greatest strengths are my research and writing skills,” Mary concluded, “and it was very satisfying to use these skills to achieve a good result for Hilton. I was the only legal intern—the rest of the fifteen or so interns were from business schools. At the end of the summer we all gave presentations explaining what we’d been working on, and I think I did a good job of showing why the skills and knowledge lawyers bring to the business process can be so valuable.”

Even before working for Hilton Worldwide, Mary was interested in a future career in corporate and business law, but she’s also intrigued by the possibilities of working in government, and she believes her experiences at the U.S. House of Representatives will allow her to get a sense of whether this is the direction she should follow upon graduation. As part of USD’s D.C. Externship Program, Mary took concentrated classes in legislation and administrative law before beginning her work with the House Committee on Education and the Workforce where she focused on labor policy issues. “These classes are giving me the background I need to tackle the projects I’ll be assigned. I’ve already met with my supervisor, a staff attorney with the committee. In addition to supervising my work, she’s encouraging me to sit in on any committee hearings that interest me. I am going to learn so much; it’s very exciting.”

About the University of San Diego School of Law

Recognized for the excellence of its faculty, curriculum and clinical programs, the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law enrolls approximately 900 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.</p>
<p>USD School of Law is one of the 81 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 23rd worldwide in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.</p>