“… throughout this summer I have grown and become an independent young woman who is ready to take on anything.”
My summer at ALB
By Diane Montecuollo
When I first met Adam Leitman Bailey I knew right away that he was passionate, charitable, and successful, but what I didn’t know was that he was the man who was going to give me the opportunity of a lifetime. On the day I was offered the internship at Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. (ALB, P.C.) I was sitting in my fourth period class not knowing that I was about to receive some very exciting news. My principal, Mr. Sheninger came into the classroom and asked my teacher if he could borrow me for a minute. When I walked into his office I saw his phone was off the hook, and he told me that there was someone on the phone who wanted to speak to me; lo and behold it was Adam Bailey. When Adam told me that he wanted me to come work for him this summer I was so happy I was near tears. I finally felt like my hard work had paid off — all the studying, extra curricular activities, and countless hours of homework had enabled me to qualify for such a prestigious honor. My parents were at first a little surprised because they didn’t know that I had taken the initiative to try to get the internship, but they were happy and proud because they realized that it was going to be a wonderful experience.
When my first day finally came I had mixed feelings. I was definitely excited to start interning, but I was also fearful about starting work in the biggest metropolis in the world, at age 17. I was comforted that my older brother, Michael, had agreed to come with my first day to show me how to get my train tickets, transfer stations, and find the office. Although manipulating the train didn’t seem too hard, I still worried about what the office of ALB, P.C. would hold. When I got to 120 Broadway I felt like it was September of 1997 and I had just arrived at Berkley Street Elementary School for my first day of Kindergarten, only this time I wasn’t holding my mom’s hand and I was carrying an O’Neil purse instead of a Barbie lunchbox. My brother gave me a hug and wished me good luck, and I walked away knowing that I needed to take a deep breath and be brave.
I was instantly surprised with how friendly everyone in the office was. I was expecting to find frantic lawyers drowning in paper work that didn’t have enough time to breathe, let alone say good morning to an intern. I was pleasantly surprised, however, that the staff was not only extremely hospitable, but went out of their way to make me feel very comfortable. I instantly forgot about my fears and started to focus on how I could contribute to the office. Right off the bat, I was impressed by the work ethic and passion of the lawyers. Some mornings, I would come in and look at the time sheet, and see that people had come in at the crack of dawn, and others hadn’t left until midnight the previous night. It became very clear early in the summer that ALB, P.C. is one of the best real estate law firms in all of Manhattan because the entire firms gives one hundred and ten percent at all times.
Other than learning how to do typical office jobs, such as scanning, typing, and filing, my summer at ALB taught me a lot. First and foremost, I learned about the law. Adam and the attorneys demonstrated to me all the hard work, long hours, and research that go into winning a case. I found it quite surprising that many cases are settled before they even get to Court. Though I was disappointed that I didn’t get to see a heated argument, I appreciated and respected that the attorneys’ hard work did not go to waste.
Even though my summer internship was for a law firm, I learned about other career paths. ALB, P.C. is not just a law firm, it’s a business, and as a business man Adam has to make sure he does his part to feed the 30 families that depend on him. If in the future I ever decide to open my own business I will try to emulate Adam’s business tactics and strategies to try and reach the level of success he has. The most important business lesson I learned from Adam was the importance of customer service. If you hi re ALB, P.C. you will not only be treated like gold, you will accomplish the goals that brought you to the firm in the first place.
Another valuable skill I gained while working at 120 Broadway was how to use the subway system and find my way around Manhattan. It has always been a goal of mine to work in the city, and now I feel like I have an advantage for when I graduate college and start my career in the big city. Public transportation didn’t just teach me how to get around, it taught me how to be independent. Going into Manhattan every day by myself was a maturing experience that will be beneficial when I leave for college next fall.
Reflecting on the summer I can honestly say that I didn’t just learn law, I learned life lessons. The most important thing that Adam taught me is the importance of giving back. Before I started working for Adam I already respected him because of all the good things he was doing for my school. The year my brother Thomas graduated New Milford High School, Adam gave the commencement address, and his story about his battle to recover after his car accident was inspiring. It taught me that you should feed off doubt and never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Adam’s phone never stops ringing and he is constantly being e-mailed, and yet he finds the time to do charity work. The fact that he takes time out of his busy schedule for good causes is something I really respect about him. Adam Leitman Bailey isn’t just a lawyer, he’s a role model and a mensch.
I was frequently asked if I was upset that I “wasted” my whole summer working, but the things I learned, and the people I met, completely made up for the few beach trips I might have missed. I hope that the staff of ALB, P.C. found me to be helpful and useful in the short amount of time I spent with them. My internship was a great experience and I feel really lucky that I got to have such a wonderful experience at such a young age. So next fall when I’m standing outside of my college I probably won’t have the feeling like it’s the first day of kindergarten, because throughout this summer I have grown and become an independent young woman who is ready to take on anything.