"Within the first few months of classes, I knew I had made the right decision," says 2L Francisco Cebada of his choice to attend the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. Cebada, who was considering law schools in Pennsylvania and Florida, ultimately chose Hofstra Law for the quality of its education and its proximity and connections to the New York law community, where he hopes to build his career.
Although Cebada originally applied to the J.D. program, he also applied to and was accepted into Hofstra's M.B.A. program to broaden his legal skills. "My first-semester contracts course came naturally to me, and I realized the practical nature of the law," he explains. "At the same time, the course demonstrated the business aspects of the law, and I thought a business degree would improve my understanding of legal negotiations."
Selected as one of several New York City Bar Diversity Fellows from a pool of thousands of applicants from 11 New York law schools, Cebada honed his legal and business acumen this past summer as a legal intern for Kelley Drye & Warren, which has participated in some of the country's most famous transactions, including the sale of the landmark Chrysler Building.
Cebada started his business courses in fall 2011, taking business organization and international trade, in addition to participating in an externship with Judge Carmen Velasquez of the New York City Civil Court of Queens County, New York. Cebada anticipates getting hands-on experience through this externship: "I'm looking forward to having more direct time with Judge Velasquez and doing legal research."
Hofstra Law's ability to provide this kind of practical insight whether through externship programs or faculty teaching by experienced lawyers, is one of its great strengths in Cebada's estimation: "I have so many opportunities ahead; everything is open to me."