Madelyn Cobb, a sophomore philosophy major, knows she wants to go to law school after completing her undergraduate degree at Wooster. She’s always been interested in the work of the United Nations and admires Amal Clooney for her work as an international human rights attorney. Cobb’s desire to learn more about the field led her to APEX, the college’s center for Advising, Planning, and Experiential Learning.
“I wanted to do something different with my summer. I was tired of just working at Chipotle,” said Cobb. “The person I spoke with recommended I call legal organizations in my city about internship opportunities. I heard back from the Ohio Civil Rights Commission about some opportunities they had and went in for an interview the same week.” The interview led to a summer position with the commission, and an APEX Fellowship provided the financial support to make it possible, so Cobb could get her first inside look at the field.
“It was a great start to look into what legal work entails,” she said. “I’ve never done anything like that before. It was interesting to dip my foot in the water and see what it’s really like.” Cobb spent a lot of her time researching cases and contacting the people involved. “I appreciated seeing the depths we go through to figure out whether someone has been discriminated against,” she said. “Along with reading and writing skills, I learned speaking and presentation skills by researching different cases and presenting them to others in the office.”
When the people involved in a case preferred mediation to an investigation, Cobb had the opportunity to interact with the charging party and respondent—and their attorneys—as they worked with the commission to settle. “I worked a lot with investigators, but I interacted with and observed attorneys with each client in mediation. How they represented their client was interesting to watch,” she said.
Up next, Cobb hopes to find more internship opportunities in the legal field, perhaps with a private firm, and in the meantime, she’s enjoying the range of classes Wooster offers. Included in her schedule this fall are German, Political Islam, Forensic Science, and Rationalism and Empiricism. She’s looking forward to learning more in her philosophy major as well as becoming more involved on campus. “I’m working toward being a part of Model UN and Moot Court, and I’m excited to do those things for the first time,” she said.