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Kristen Gibbons ’04 (Abington, Pa.) and Kimberly Pollard ’03 (Bethel, Ct.) spent part of their winter break gaining first-hand knowledge of the field of investigative law at New York City’s Department of Buildings.

The students shadowed Adam Golden ’96, supervising investigative attorney for New York City’s Department of Buildings, Office of Investigations and Discipline. Pollard completed her externship from Jan. 6-10, while Gibbons shadowed Golden from Jan. 22-24.

Golden’s primary responsibilities include investigating acts of criminal and administrative misconduct involving agency employees, individuals licensed by the agency, and others doing business with the agency. His office is also responsible for all administrative prosecutions and works closely with other city, state, and federal agencies, including the five District Attorney’s Offices in New York City, in pursuit of criminal prosecutions.

Both students sat in on a number of interviews relating to current investigations. Pollard, a psychology major, participated in a site visit to a housing development in the Bronx, the subject of an investigation Golden was pursuing. Gibbons, a neuroscience major, had an opportunity to assist with legal research and draft a letter based on it.

“Kim and Kristen were able to gain some insight into the operation of a New York City agency as well as get some hands-on experience of a career in the fields of investigations and law enforcement,” says Golden.

Pollard says Golden gave her a thorough overview of the legal process. “He explained the process of receiving a complaint and every step it went through. He took a lot of time out of his week just to sit down and tell me about his job and things associated with the field.”

“I saw the different aspects of safety and how corruption can result in something catastrophic. It was an excellent opportunity,” says Gibbons.

Golden saw the externship program as “a way to give back to the students. I just wanted to give anyone interested in this field an opportunity to experience it. Also, I know how difficult it can be to network, and I wanted to be someone they can contact.”

Gibbons says her experience helped to solidify her future plans and to begin networking. “The whole environment was really great. The ability to talk to Adam Golden and two legal externs about their career paths encouraged me to go to law school.”

“It was a very positive experience,” agrees Pollard. “I think seeing hands-on what investigators actually do helped me realize that I do want to go into the investigative field.”

Pollard is a member of the Senior Class Fund Drive and Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Gibbons is a member of the Association of Black Collegians and NIA, a women’s organization which celebrates ethnicity, gender, and sisterhood. She also works in Lafayette’s Office of Career Services.

Categorized in: Academic News