Alumni Spotlight on: Ira Steinberg, Class of 2005

Profile-PicWhat is your current position?

Litigation Associate, Sedgwick LLP
What year did you graduate from UConn? 2005
Where did you go to law school? How did you choose that school?
UCLA School of Law. I chose UCLA based on national reputation, quality of the alumni network in the geographic area I wanted to work and availability of scholarships and financial aid. That the law school was also attached to a large university was also a bonus because of all the educational and recreational benefits available to students at a major university.
What year did you graduate from law school? 2010

UConn Experience

Major: Political Science, Minor in Economics

How did your major help you prepare for law school and for practice?
My major helped prepare me for law school and practice in two ways: First, the emphasis on writing skills was crucial. Most political-science exams are essay exams, so learning to write well under pressure was useful preparation. Additionally, the classroom discussion in my political science classes (as well as other general education requirements, such as philosophy) prepared me to be able to analyze an issue from multiple perspectives, which is a crucial skill in law school and in litigation. My participation in the Honors Scholar program was also very helpful because of its emphasis on oral and written communication skills.

What organizations and activities (e.g., clubs, sports, study abroad) did you participate in while at UConn?
My primary extra-curricular activity at UConn was Undergraduate Student Government. I ultimately served as Speaker of the Student Senate from 2004-2005. I was also active in a number of campus political groups and attended a lot of the extracurricular events put on the Political Science Dept.

What jobs or internships did you have while at UConn?
I interned on Capitol Hill for Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, former U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd and on the campaign of former California Assemblyman Mike Gordon. Less notably, I also worked at Ryan Cafeteria/WEBB Site and as a fundraiser for the UConn foundation.

Did you take any time off?
Yes, I worked in politics for two years between college and law school. Specifically, I was a district staffer for Congresswoman Jane Harman, who was the then ranking-member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and also a member of the Homeland Security Committee. She has since retired from Congress and now is the head of the Woodrow Wilson Center.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to a current UConn student?
If I could give one piece of advice it would be to take advantage of all the extracurricular opportunities you can. Some of the best and most informative experiences you will have while at UConn are through extracurricular clubs and programs on campus as well as internships that you can get either through, or with the support of, the University. Class is important, and be sure to take all the writing classes you can, but you will learn much more in the classroom if you are enhancing your academic work with substantive extracurriculars. Continue reading