Class of 93 Alums Nancy Shore DiLella and Simone Handler Connect John DeFuria, 3L Health Law Student with Remote Internship
Seton Hall Law hires Seton Hall Law. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the loyalty of the Seton Hall Law community has remained steadfast in securing internship and employment opportunities for students to gain practical hands-on experience, whether remote or in-person.
John DeFuria, 3L, is studying health law and was searching for an internship opportunity after his summer associate position fell victim to COVID-19. In his One L summer, DeFuria had interned for Bayer Pharmaceuticals in its Law, Patent and Compliance Group. The experience inspired him to pursue a concentration in health law compliance.
During a virtual alumni town hall meeting in the spring, opportunity came knocking from Genentech, Inc. located in South San Francisco, California. Nancy Shore DiLella ‘93, Vice President of Corporate Law and Simone Handler ‘93, Principal Healthcare Compliance Manager inquired about how they could assist students still searching for summer employment. Together with June Forrest, Assistant Dean of Career Services, they were able to connect John with an internship opportunity working remotely in Genentech’s Legal Department. Handler also started her career as an attorney in the Health Law Group of Brach Eichler, the same group John also worked part-time for this past summer. The Seton Hall Law connections ran deep from the start, but it would be John’s superb performance at Genentech that would solidify exactly why Seton Hall Law hires Seton Hall Law.
DeFuria, Shore DiLella and Handler took some time to share why the opportunity was mutually beneficial, and the invaluable role the Seton Hall Law alumni community plays in enhancing the student experience.
Can you describe your responsibilities and which office you worked for at Genentech?
DeFuria: I worked primarily for Ruchika Kumar, Associate General Counsel at Genentech. I also had the opportunity to meet virtually with many other team members in a variety of areas of the company, both work-related, as well as networking and career advice. My main responsibilities were to conduct research surrounding U.S. privacy laws and how they relate to patient health information. I met weekly over video conference calls with members of the team to discuss my findings and to find additional areas to research further.
What made the experience meaningful for you?
DeFuria: This experience gave me the opportunity to learn about a new cutting-edge area of healthcare law, while exposing me to an in-house legal department and expanding my professional network. It was also particularly interesting to have the opportunity to work fully remote for a company in South San Francisco, CA, while being home in NJ.
Why do you think the experience was beneficial to both Genentech and John?
Shore DiLella and Handler: The externship gave John the opportunity to put his legal knowledge and skills into practice and to see how business counseling is approached in the in-house setting. It also gave him exposure to the different legal careers in the life sciences area and an opportunity to expand his professional network. It is our hope that the experience will help guide and advance John’s career decisions. The experience allowed us to support an emerging lawyer and demonstrate our commitment to professional development in the law. From our perspective, we always want to attract the best and the brightest to work at Genentech. We also hope that John’s experience demonstrated that Genentech is a mission driven healthcare company and that our legal team is integral to its success.
Can you describe the experience you had with John?
Handler and Shore DiLella: John was enthusiastic and curious throughout the externship. He asked a lot of great questions, brainstormed with us, proposed options, and demonstrated flexibility as the nature of his legal research evolved. While it was a remote arrangement, there were touchpoints through each week and John had the opportunity to meet and work with several people in the Legal and Healthcare Compliance departments.
Could you highlight a memorable experience or project you worked on?
DeFuria: A particularly memorable project for me was wrapping up my research by writing a research paper describing the evolution of U.S. privacy rights as related to patient-level health and genetic data. I strongly believe that personalized healthcare is going to be a major part of the future of the global healthcare industry and having the opportunity to research this topic for a company that is so well-respected in the industry was an amazing experience.
As Seton Hall Law alums, why do you feel it is important to connect Seton Hall Law students with opportunities such as this?
Handler and Shore DiLella: As proud Seton Hall Law alums, we want students to know they have a built-in network of alums who have been in their shoes and have their best interests in mind. Seton Hall Law has a strong commitment to its students and works rigorously on their behalf to create and facilitate learning and job opportunities that will set their students apart from others. The Seton Hall Law Alumni network is strong (even in California) and, there’s an incredibly diverse network of alums who are happy to provide career advice, make connections and facilitate opportunities. Helping to successfully launch our students is a great way we can give back to Seton Hall Law.
DeFuria concludes by stating, “This experience is something that would not have been possible without the amazing Seton Hall Law alumni who were willing to help students out during a hectic time. This goes to show how much the law school really does go above and beyond for students and had our backs when it came to helping those scrambling for summer jobs during the uncertainty of a global pandemic. I am very grateful for this opportunity being made available for me, and it is an experience I will carry with me after leaving Seton Hall to begin my legal career.”
DeFuria, Shore DiLella and Handler are evidence of the direct impact you can have on connecting Seton Hall Law students with career-shaping experiences. Several graduates are still searching for opportunities to start their careers under the NJ Supreme Court practice order. Some 2020 graduates have had their employment deferred. Now is the perfect time to reach out to the Office of Career Services if you have a need for project-based work or need bandwidth. DeFuria is just one of the talented students who are ready to demonstrate their talents. Please complete the form by clicking the button below.