Stradley Summers 2021

Stradley Ronon kicked off its virtual summer associate program on June 7, welcoming to the firm seven law students based in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., including the 2021 recipient of Stradley’s Diversity Fellowship, Zunara Ishtiaq, who will split her summer with firm client Aberdeen Standard Investments.

 Rachel Charamella           
 Ellen Liew           
 Angeli Fernandez    Zunara Ishtiaq  
 Terence Jones    Alessandra Maccarone  
 Christian Lee      

Rachel Charmella

RACHEL CHARAMELLA
Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law
Philadelphia Office

What inspired you to become a lawyer?
My inspiration to become a lawyer came from my dad, who is a family lawyer. When I was in middle school, he took me to court with him on Take Your Daughter to Work Day. I remember thinking how great it must be to build a career around helping people during some of their most challenging times. Ever since that day, I’ve wanted to be like my dad, a lawyer who helps people through complex, emotional and demanding situations.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
My parents always told my siblings and me that there is a direct correlation between the effort and time you put into your work and relationships and the outcomes. I always keep this in the back of my mind with everything I do and everyone I meet in my professional and personal lives.

What impactful judge or lawyer inspires you?
Last summer, I had the privilege of interning for the Honorable C. Darnell Jones II in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and he has been a great source of inspiration. Judge Jones is fair, respectful and compassionate in his chambers and courtroom. He goes above and beyond to listen to and connect with everyone. I hope to carry these traits with me throughout my career.

What practice area would you like to focus on, and why?
As of right now, I am interested in litigation. My interest in litigation has grown over the past year, as I had the opportunity to compete on Drexel’s Trial Team. However, there are several practice areas in which I am interested, so I am really excited to gain exposure to as many as possible this summer at Stradley.


Angeli Fernandez

ANGELI FERNANDEZ
Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law
Philadelphia Office

As a 2021 PDLG Fellow, Angeli will be spending a portion of her time throughout the summer working with firm client American Water.

What inspired you to become a lawyer?
When I was 17, it clicked for me that civilizations and societies were formed on the basis of words. When I was an undergrad and had to confront moral theories and dilemmas, it occurred to me that the answers of academia were too abstract to make any real changes in the present world. I am inspired to be a lawyer because, while I still care about ethical theories and complex dilemmas, I also want to create results with practical applications in the real world.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Stop worrying about the things beyond my control. By focusing my energy on my personal development, I won’t have any regrets. Even if the outcome isn’t what I had desired, it will not have been from a lack of trying on my part.

What impactful judge or lawyer inspires you?
I am inspired by the founder and leader of the eData practice, Tess Blair. Her forward-looking vision for greater efficiency of the legal field through the combination of multiple fields is what I aspire to one day do with my own multidisciplinary skills.  

What practice area would you like to focus on, and why?
I am currently interested in the cyber & privacy practice because, as the world modernizes, I believe that there will be interesting, novel legal issues about access to information. Though my exposure to the legal field is limited to the general 1L survey of classes, I am looking forward to exploring different practice areas.  


Terence Jones

TERENCE JONES
Temple University Beasley School of Law
Philadelphia Office

What inspired you to become a lawyer?
After college, I did a year of service through AmeriCorps and then worked for two years as a case manager for individuals struggling with opioid addiction. After my three years between undergrad and law school, I knew that I had a passion for advocating and problem-solving. I have a hunger to better understand the law and how it affects people.  

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t be afraid to blaze your own path and always be willing to lean into discomfort.

What impactful judge or lawyer inspires you?
Bryan Stevenson. 

What practice area would you like to focus on, and why?
Given my time on Temple’s Trial Team and my passion for advocacy, I would love to do litigation. More specifically, this summer, I would be interested in learning more about what the Stradley team does in the food and beverage industry. I have always been a foodie at heart. I love to try new restaurants around the city, I have worked under a chef and I have many years of experience working in catering. It would be great to turn my passions for food and advocacy into a career. 


Christian LeeCHRISTIAN LEE
Temple University Beasley School of Law
Philadelphia Office

What inspired you to become a lawyer?
I chose to pursue a career as an attorney because of the importance placed on being able to see both sides of an argument. I have always valued diversity of opinion, and the law was a field that I knew would push me to challenge my own thinking and perspectives. 

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
My mom always told me, “When you do something, do it all the way.” Her wisdom has really helped guide me to where I am and has ensured that I remain committed to whatever path I take.

What impactful judge or lawyer inspires you?
My dad is the lawyer who inspires me. While I have a losing record in arguments against him, he has taught me not only what it means to be an attorney but also how to approach life and its opportunities with an appreciation for the little things.  

What practice area would you like to focus on, and why?
I am interested in the investment management practice area, but I want to approach this summer with an open mind. I have a lot to learn, and I am hoping that this summer experience will provide a definite answer to this question.


Ellen Liew

ELLEN LIEW
The George Washington University Law School
Washington, DC Office

What inspired you to become a lawyer?
During my time in college, I worked at a bank as an investment banking intern. I saw that the lawyers who were on the same deal were helping structure the transaction, advising on legal and regulatory risks, and writing the prospectus, and I saw myself in their role more. I talked to several lawyers and found the law to be a skill-based degree that would be useful for whatever field I end up in.  

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
That everybody has their own timelines, and there is no need to compare. We will all end up where we need to be.

What impactful judge or lawyer inspires you?
Many of my professors in law school and attorneys I worked with during my internships during my 1L year have inspired me, taught me a lot and shaped me into the lawyer I am today.

What practice area would you like to focus on, and why?
I am currently really interested in both securities law and financial regulation. I believe that Stradley’s investment management practice would be a great fit for me. I look forward to joining the team and learning more.


Zunara Ishtiaq

ZUNARA ISHTIAQ
Rutgers Law School
Philadelphia Office

As a 2021 Diversity Fellow, Zunara will be spending a portion of her summer working with firm client Aberdeen Standard Investments.

What inspired you to become a lawyer?
I was raised in a low-income immigrant community that had little knowledge or resources to navigate any legal issues it faced. Being a lawyer means being intellectually and emotionally prepared to fight for yourself and those you represent. I want to become a lawyer to empower my community and my clients and serve as a resource for other communities like the one I grew up in.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Work hard, be cheerful, avoid distractions. This captures all the ingredients for a successful result in any context. I like to define everything I do with these words by having a great attitude and work ethic and ignoring any negativity.

What impactful judge or lawyer inspires you?
I am inspired by attorney Laurie Robinson Haden, the CEO and founder of Corporate Counsel Women of Color, a nonprofit committed to improving and retaining women of color in the corporate legal industry. Since starting the nonprofit in 2004, Laurie has created a network of over 4,500 attorneys and uses her platform to offer minority law students scholarships, mentors and meaningful practical experiences. When the pandemic caused many to pull back summer internship offers, Laurie swooped in and gave me and several other minority students paid internships. It was the first year the nonprofit offered internships — solely because Laurie wanted to create an opportunity for us at a time when all other doors were closing.

What practice area would you like to focus on, and why?
I would like to focus on corporate and securities law because both of these practice areas play a central role in our country’s economy and society. Getting involved with practice areas of such large impact and high stakes would be an invaluable experience.


Allie Maccarone

ALESSANDRA MACCARONE
Rutgers Law School
Philadelphia Office

What inspired you to become a lawyer?
My grandfather is a practicing attorney and my biggest inspiration. Over the years, I have witnessed him devote his career to serving the local community and helping others. He constantly empowers me to maintain a strong work ethic and pursue my passion for advocacy.  

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Never be afraid to ask questions. I hope to maintain curiosity as an attorney and recognize that there will always be things I don’t know, especially early on in my career.  

What impactful judge or lawyer inspires you?
During my 1L summer, I interned for the Honorable Joseph H. Rodriguez. I was continually struck by his fairness and grace in the (virtual) courtroom. Judge Rodriguez challenged me to approach legal issues from various perspectives and to be thorough and inquisitive in my research. My internship with him set the tone for my work both as a law student and as a future attorney.  

What practice area would you like to focus on, and why?
I hope to explore the firm’s real estate and litigation practice groups. Prior to law school, I was able to work as a legal assistant at a firm, primarily on real estate and zoning matters. I am interested in delving deeper into that work and exploring the litigation side. However, I am excited to gain exposure to all the practices that Stradley offers!