I started my internship at the Administrative Conference in the summer of 2010, following my second year of law school. At that time, the Administrative Conference had five employees working in borrowed space at the FTC. By the end of my internship, the Administrative Conference had moved into its own offices, more than doubled its staff, held two plenary sessions, and adopted five new recommendations. Despite the agency’s modest size, my internship at the Administrative Conference provided me with valuable and diverse administrative law experience that has helped me hone my interests and shape my career goals.
Because I worked with most of the staff during my internship, I had the unique opportunity to work with the general counsel on issues of general administrative law and with the staff attorneys on many of the research studies. In my first few months, I worked with the general counsel on projects to help the agency develop policies in a wide-range of administrative law issues, including the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and government ethics. Two of my first assignments involved a FOIA request and a bid protest that was filed on the first research contracts that the Administrative Conference awarded. As the agency developed its policies and awarded contracts, I drafted portions of research contracts and rulemaking preambles.
As the agency began its research projects, I provided research and analysis for staff attorneys on their research projects, including those on e-rulemaking, government contractor ethics, and 28 U.S.C. § 1500. I assisted with several roundtable discussions and workshops, which allowed me to meet many attorneys and learn more about how agencies actually address administrative law issues. Throughout all of these projects, the staff encouraged me to participate in projects that interested me and invited me to observe the agency’s plenary sessions, committee meetings, and other professional development programs. This support and variety of legal experience enabled me to pursue areas of interest, like government contracting law, and further develop my legal writing and research skills.
After my internship, I was a judicial clerk in the Circuit Court for Calvert County, Maryland, and I currently work at the Social Security Administration as an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review where I review disability appeals. While I did not work on any social security issues at the Administrative Conference, my internship provided my with valuable experience in administrative law that facilitated my transition into a new area of administrative law and enabled me to quickly and efficiently learn on the job. During my internship, I gained experience analyzing regulations and agency policy, and in my current job, I use this experience in analyzing regulations and policy every day.
--This is an AdministrativeFix Guest Blog Post by Frank Massaro, a 2011 American University Washington College of Law Graduate and former ACUS Intern. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.