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Elias Neibart on the Power of Mentoring

Elias Neibart

Elias Neibart seems destined for bigger things, but remembers that it is the little steps we make along the way that make all the difference. Elias Neibart is a recent college graduate and recently began a course of study at the University of Cambridge. In 2022, he will begin his legal education at Harvard Law School.

I recently had the opportunity to learn about one of the impactful experiences in his life, when Elias Neibart sought an internship with Judge Michael Ravin and how this experience shaped his future career choice and inspired him to find ways to help others. In Elias’s words…

“When I was a senior in high school, I met Judge Michael Ravin. He is a New Jersey Superior Court judge in Essex County New Jersey, and when we first spoke, I asked him if I could shadow him for a couple weeks before going off to college. In fact, my high school specifically required that graduating students immerse themselves in a particular field before formally graduating and he seemed like he would be a fantastic mentor.”

“When I spoke to Judge Ravin, he was ecstatic. It brought him a great deal of joy that a young person was interested in criminal law, and, accordingly, he gave me permission to shadow him for a few weeks. Up to that point, I had no experience in the legal field nor did I know exactly what I wanted to study in college. That uncertainty made me worry about going off to university.”

“In many ways, I wanted to narrow down my professional interests before embarking on my college experience. And I am very happy to report that after spending three weeks with Judge Ravin and his staff, my mind was set on wanting to become an attorney. As an intern, I was able to watch a variety of court proceedings. As a criminal court judge in New Jersey, Judge Ravin presides over a diverse set of cases, all of which have unique fact patterns and distinct legal issues.”

“For instance, on one day, the judge might have presided over a bail hearing or a plea deal or a motion for an upcoming trial. In each proceeding, he showed me how to be fair, impartial, and courteous to each person that he interacted with. To put it simply, the judge gave me a chance to witness the legal profession and that sparked my interest to become a lawyer. That spark fueled my undergraduate studies, and I anticipate that it will carry over as I embark on my law school journey.”

“With all that being said, when I arrived at college, I wanted to help my peers immerse themselves in the legal profession, too. In other words, I wanted to provide them with what Judge Ravin provided me. So, when I got to campus, I joined the Pre-Law Society. The group helped undergraduate students navigate through their college experience, as they prepared to apply to law school and enter the legal profession. The organization would help students pick interesting classes for their schedule, we would plan events with law school admission officers, and we would also bring together actual attorneys from around the area to talk to students about entering the legal profession.”

“In one instance, a student approached me and asked whether I knew of any internships for college students interested in applying to law school. At the time, I did not know of any internships in his geographical area, so I did some digging and found out that one of our partner organizations that we held an event with a year prior was based in my peer’s hometown. I made a call to my contact, and it turned out they did, in fact, an internship program and they were still accepting applicants.”

“My friend submitted his resume and soon learned the good news: he was selected as a summer intern. It brought me a great deal of joy to help my classmate find a meaningful opportunity, and it made me even happier that I was able to kindle his passion and interest in the legal profession. In the end, he had a fulfilling summer experience, and he still looks fondly upon his time there.”

“Throughout my time in college, I can recount so many stories like that one. As a member and eventual President of the Pre-Law Society, I feel very grateful that I could help my classmates, peers, and friends become passionate about a field and line of work that I am devoted to. And, when I think about those I have interacted with, I frequently think back to Judge Ravin.”

“I only spent three weeks him, and I am just one of the several interns and staff that assisted him during his career, but he provided me with a chance to witness, learn about, and immerse myself into something that has had such an indelible impact on my life. As I move forward to other organizations and educational institutions, I hope that I can assist and mentor aspiring law students the same way I was several years ago. Because, in the end, when you care about something so deeply, it is only right and appropriate to share that passion and interest with the others around you.”

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