3L Bianca Valdez has been awarded the competitive 2019-2020 GE Transportation Denniston Fellowship, a one-year, post-graduation position with GE Transportation’s 12-attorney legal team open to 3L Chicago law students who have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Valdez is the first student from John Marshall to be awarded with this fellowship since it began in 2015. At the close of her one-year position with GE Transportation, Valdez will have the opportunity to interview with the fellowship’s partner law firms, including Jenner & Block, Reed Smith, Sidley Austin, Paul Hastings, and Jones Day.
Looking for an opportunity to develop further experience in corporate litigation, Valdez reached out to CSO Counselor Paul Johnson for opportunities to bolster her resume as early as her 1L year. Over the course of her legal education, she has maximized her relationship with the Career Services Office. As a 1L, she earned an Association of Corporate Counsel Summer Diversity Internship placement with the McDonald’s Corporation that she learned about at a CSO diversity event. As a 2L, Valdez took the advice of former CSO Counselor Marques Rice (now in the Academic Achievement Program) to apply to the ABA Judicial Intern Opportunity Program and was placed with Justice Jesse Reyes at the Illinois Appellate Court. When Johnson told Valdez about the GE Transportation Fellowship, she knew it was exactly what she wanted.
After submitting her resume, transcripts, and an essay, followed by two rounds of interviews, Valdez was informed by Tom LaFrance, Senior Executive-General Counsel at GE Transportation, that she had been unanimously chosen for the fellowship.
“I am very excited for the opportunity and owe the CSO my sincerest appreciation for assisting me in my success. I would not have achieved this opportunity without the diligence and hard work the CSO has provided me throughout my legal education.”
In addition to getting an intimate look at how corporations internally handle their legal concerns and what they outsource, Valdez will be exposed to multiple practice areas without the limitations imposed on many new big-law associates. The fellowship offers personalized training in the intimate legal environment of a major corporation, experience working on international and domestic legal matters, and the opportunity to engage with various corporate executives. And don’t forget the ability to interview with some of Chicago’s top law firms.
Congratulations Ms. Valdez! We’ll keep an eye out for the announcement of your associate position.
Students interested in opportunities like the Association of Corporate Counsel Summer Diversity Internship Program, the ABA Judicial Intern Opportunity Program, or the GE Transportation Denniston Fellowship should contact their CSO counselor.