While some students enter law school knowing what area of law they want to pursue, for others it’s a journey of exploration and being open to new possibilities.

Second-year law student Alessandra Sabra Durose has done just that this summer as a clerk for the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

“I always thought I would be working in criminal law, since I graduated with a degree in criminology, but I wanted to explore other types of law before making any commitments,” said Durose, who attended the University of Iowa. “My biggest takeaway from this whole experience is that you have to be open to new experiences and opportunities.”

The Minnesota Department of Commerce is the state agency responsible for the protection of consumer interests and oversight of more than 20 regulated industries including banking, energy, insurance, real estate, securities and telecommunications. Durose was selected for her position with the department through the Hennepin County Bar Association 1L Minority Clerkship Program.

“I learned about the opportunity during one of the lunch events hosted by the law school’s Career and Professional Development office,” she said. “Then I applied and got accepted to the program.”

Working remotely this summer, Durose conducted legal research and prepared related memos for the in-house attorneys.

“My favorite part of the clerkship was getting hands-on experience and exposure to what a legal career in the public sector looks like,” she said. “The in-house attorneys were extremely helpful and very approachable.”

Durose says she had a good foundation in legal research and writing going into the position because of what she learned in her 1L classes.

“I definitely applied the skills I learned in Lawyering Skills I and II,” she said. “Not only was I comfortable with the structure of an office memo, but I also felt confident to research and write about any issue handed to me.”

The positive feedback from her supervisors on her work and their efforts to make the online clerkship a valuable experience has also helped to solidify Durose’s feeling that she is in the right place.

“My supervisor met with me every morning through Zoom to make sure I had guidance through all my assignments,” she said. “Not only did I feel like I was able to build relationships, but I knew the people that I was working with cared about my career development. The Department of Commerce was a great way to start my legal career.”

Further evidence that the public sector is a good fit for Durose: The Department of Commerce has asked her to stay on as a part-time law clerk through the fall.

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