Summer Experiences: Rising 2L Ben Siroky, Legal Intern, SEC
Rising 2L Ben Siroky spent the summer working remotely as a legal intern for the Washington, D.C.-based Securities and Exchange Commission. Specifically, Siroky worked for the office of SEC Commissioner Caroline Crenshaw ’09, who was appointed to the five-person Commission last year.
How did you connect with this summer opportunity?
I had been interested in interning with the SEC and noticed the Commissioner’s interview with the law school on its website. I then reached out to her public inbox and was able to connect with her and her staff. Never underestimate the Minnesota law alumni network!
How does your experience connect with what you currently envision doing with your law degree?
I am interested in working in public service, and the SEC’s work, first and foremost, is to protect investors, an important iteration of service.
Please describe a “typical” workday on the job
One of the great things about the Commissioner’s office is the variety of work. On any given day I could be reading enforcement cases, researching policy, or meeting with industry leaders, economists, investors, you name it. Certainly never a dull moment, which I really appreciate.
What is something you learned or experienced that was surprising or particularly compelling during this summer position?
This may not be surprising, but definitely the breadth and weight of the issues. To have such a close interaction researching and discussing policy to confront the challenges facing investors and the Commission has been a definite highlight. Additionally, an aspect I find particularly compelling is the commitment to service that I have found in everyone I have met at the SEC.
What are a couple of your key takeaways from the experience?
One major takeaway is the scope of what a career in law can look like. Many of the staff I’ve worked with have a background in law, however, may not practice as one may initially think of in law school. Sure, some practice litigation in the enforcement division, but many others use their legal skills to craft policy, or advocate for investors, each contributing to the mission in their own way.
How has your summer experience compared with your expectations?
Even better than expected! Each day I have access to an incredibly talented team, who have been amazing to learn from. I also wasn’t sure how much exposure I would have to the different areas within the organization. However, the staff have been great about providing substantive and diverse work that has allowed me to gain a true sense of life at the SEC.
What advice would you offer another law student thinking about working in a similar position next summer?
I would say go for it! I think 1L summer is a great chance to explore your legal interests, especially after taking in so much information during the academic year. The SEC has so many divisions and provides countless ways to explore, that the experience could be rewarding to any law student.
How are you spending your free time this summer?
I am fortunate to live right near the beach, so I try to spend my free time outdoors. Whether that’s running, surfing, or reading on the beach, I am trying to get as much time outside as possible before the fall.
What are you most looking forward to in returning to Minnesota Law this fall?
Getting involved with Environmental Law Moot Court, and seeing everyone off zoom and on-campus!