Summer Associates 2022

Stradley Ronon kicked off its virtual summer associate program on June 6, welcoming to the firm 13 law students based in Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington, D.C., including the 2022 recipient of Stradley’s Diversity Fellowship, Alexandra Romano. 

 Matts Batryn           
 David Garton           
Sanjana Pai 
 Ian Bussard    Jeremy Gottlieb   Katherine Pfingsten
 Conor Courtney    Samuel Kishiyama   Alexandra (Allie) Romano
 Reina Cracknell    Samantha Krasker    
 Giana Fallico    Jocelyn Near    

Matts Batryn

MATTS BATRYN
The Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law
Philadelphia Office

What inspired you to become a lawyer?
I previously worked with a large non-profit organization in a very business-oriented and client-facing role. My continued involvement with business leaders, attorneys and professionals alike helped me realize my true strengths and interests. I knew that I wanted to grow into a leadership role while still being able to be on the front lines and client-facing. Law school was the perfect fit.  

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“There's no such thing as a sure thing” - Not meaning to expect the worst, but to always be prepared to the best of your ability for situations that you may not have anticipated. It’s easy to be complacent and assume the status quo, but there's always value in assessing all the possibilities and alternatives in each situation.  

What impactful judge or lawyer inspires you?
The judge that inspires me is Edward M. Marsico Jr. of the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas. Not only was he a district attorney (DA) before becoming a judge, but he was also the longest- serving DA in Dauphin County history. As DA, he implemented numerous programs such as drug court and veteran's court. His understanding of his community and its people carried over to his role as a judge, as he continues to be thoughtful, person-focused, and empathetic in his role on the bench. 

What practice area would you like to focus on, and why?
Investment Management. I’ve always been interested in the complexity of the financial markets, and I’m eager to learn more through a legal lens. It’s no secret that Stradley Ronon is the best in the business when it comes to investment management, and I’m excited to experience the practice area and absorb as much as I can.

What attracted you to Stradley when making a decision on where to spend your summer?
Every person I spoke to touched on the atmosphere and culture of Stradley Ronon. What really stood out to me was the longevity and continued commitments from each partner and associate. While many lawyers switch firms or jobs several times in their careers, Stradley Ronon attorneys continually impressed me with how long they have been with the firm. Having dedicated and valued co-workers is the type of environment I’m excited to join.


Ian Bussard

IAN BUSSARD
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law
Philadelphia Office

What inspired you to become a lawyer?
Our jobs may not completely define us, but they determine how we spend a great deal of our time. Why waste that time? To me, being a lawyer is about being part of a community of advocates, about challenging myself to solve complex problems and to write and speak clearly.  

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
From my former manager: Clients aren’t just clients—they’re also people. They work hard, they worry, they have rich inner lives, and they want to be seen and heard as we all do. Great working relationships start with great human relationships. 

What impactful judge or lawyer inspires you?
He was brilliant, his work is still influential, and he'll probably always be my favorite legal writer: Justice Cardozo. As a former advertising copywriter, I admire his snappy writing style and ability to transition from fact-intensive analysis to a high level of abstraction.

 What practice area would you like to focus on, and why?
Going into law school, I assumed my future would be in transactional law and transactional law only. I’m still drawn to that possibility, but after a year of litigation-heavy coursework, I’m questioning my interests. I’m excited to learn more about myself at Stradley this summer.

What attracted you to Stradley when making a decision on where to spend your summer?
You can learn a lot about an employer by listening. During my Stradley interview, I was struck by the thoughtful questions put to me—questions I think every employer should ask interviewees. It showed that Stradley puts a lot of care into its people. That is rare.


Conor Courtney

CONOR COURTNEY
American University Washington College of Law
Washington, D.C. Office

What inspired you to become a lawyer?
I worked with various lawyers throughout my business career, and their profound problem-solving and analytical skills inspired me. I enjoy tackling the most challenging and complex problems, and I realized being a lawyer would put me at the center of the most difficult issues.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Always bet on yourself. You’re much more capable than you think.” 

What impactful judge or lawyer inspires you?
My uncle William Hochul Jr., the former United States Attorney for the Western District of New York, and his impactful work and commitment to public service inspires me. He inspires me always to do my best and do right for others.

What practice area would you like to focus on, and why?
I am interested in Stradley Ronon’s corporate & securities, litigation, and investment management practice areas. I enjoy working on complex financial and legal matters, and Stradley Ronon is one of the industry’s best.

What attracted you to Stradley when making a decision on where to spend your summer?
I want to spend my summer at Stradley Ronon because of its reputation, expertise, and commitment to its employees. Stradley Ronon’s summer program provides opportunities to work across various practice areas and learn from industry leaders.


Reina CracknellREINA CRACKNELL
American University Washington College of Law
Washington, D.C. Office

What inspired you to become a lawyer?
I have seen the difference that good lawyering can make in people’s lives. I hope to hone my skills so that one day I can have a positive impact.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Growing up, my mother would always say, “Good things come to those who wait, but better things come to those who go out and get them.” This advice has consistently reminded me that I have the ability to take charge and shape my future.  

What impactful judge or lawyer inspires you?
A supervising attorney that I worked with on pro bono matters always set time aside to diligently assist small pro bono clients, irrespective of her around-the-clock work hours. I aspire to always give back regardless of other demands, just as she did.  

What practice area would you like to focus on, and why?
I had a positive experience working as an Asset Management Paralegal and look forward to working in the investment management practice this summer. I am excited to explore other practice areas as well.

What attracted you to Stradley when making a decision on where to spend your summer?
Everyone I interviewed and spoke with was extremely welcoming, and I felt as if the firm’s culture was a good fit for me. I am excited to have the opportunity to work at such a great firm and spend my summer here in D.C.


Giana Fallico

GIANA FALLICO
DePaul University College of Law
Chicago Office

What inspired you to become a lawyer?
When I was an undergrad, I never saw myself going into the legal field, but I ended up taking a legal theory class that taught us how to create arguments and analyze caselaw. This class had a huge impact on me, and I realized this is what I wanted to do with my life and I never looked back!

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Focus on the present and don't stress about things you can't change. There is definitely a lot of stress among law students, but if there is nothing you can do to change your current situation, then stressing out will do no good. One of my teachers told us this on the first day of class, and it stuck with me!

What impactful judge or lawyer inspires you?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg has always been so inspiring to me. How she was able to go through law school while being a backbone for her family and go on to be a pioneer for women's rights is incredible. 

What practice area would you like to focus on, and why?
I would like to focus on the investment and finance area of law. I grew up with a lot of family members that are in this field, and I think it would be so fun to be in this area but on the legal side of things.

What attracted you to Stradley when making a decision on where to spend your summer?
I am very interested in exploring the investment side of law, and when I saw the Chicago office was specifically hiring for that area, I was so excited. After researching and speaking with attorneys from Stradley, it made me realize that the culture of this firm is exactly where I could see myself fitting in!


David Garton

DAVID GARTON
Temple University Beasley School of Law
Philadelphia Office

What inspired you to become a lawyer?
Having worked in an environment where we sometimes depended on lawyers to answer tough questions, I wanted to gain the skills and knowledge to answer those questions myself and be an expert to help others in the same way.

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

The best advice I have ever been given was by a former manager and was to always do the things you want to do least, first to make the rest of the day easier and leave more time for the tougher tasks. 

What impactful judge or lawyer inspires you?
Having had Dean Donald Harris at Temple for two courses, I have learned a great deal about the level of dedication and expertise a lawyer can bring to their practice area. 

What practice area would you like to focus on, and why?
I am most interested in corporate and securities, investment management, and financial services from my previous work experience and coursework so far.

What attracted you to Stradley when making a decision on where to spend your summer?
My initial interest was because of Stradley’s available practice areas and I was also impressed by things I heard about the culture at Stradley and felt during my interviews.


Jeremy Gottlieb

JEREMY GOTTLIEB
Rutgers Law School
Philadelphia Office

What inspired you to become a lawyer?
I have experience working full-time with a large insurance company. During my time at the insurance company, I worked closely with our attorneys. I realized pretty quickly that I saw myself in an attorney role and made the decision to apply and attend the evening program at Rutgers Law School.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
The best advice that I have ever received is very simple. “If you don’t understand, ask a question.” I have learned from experience that asking questions is the best way to learn.

What impactful judge or lawyer inspires you?
My father is the lawyer that inspires me. His passion for the law is infectious, and I am inspired by his work ethic and ability to be a great advocate.

What practice area would you like to focus on, and why?
I am interested in the investment management practice group because of the ability to work on complex matters. However, I am open to all the practice areas and am excited to learn about the different groups during the summer.

What attracted you to Stradley when making a decision on where to spend your summer?
The investment management practice group is what initially attracted me to Stradley. However, it was members of the firm that I interviewed with that helped me make my decision, as everyone was extremely personable during the interview process.


Samuel Kishiyama

SAMUEL KISHIYAMA
University of California, Irvine School of Law
Philadelphia Office

What inspired you to become a lawyer?
I was inspired to become a lawyer when I found that I could use my research and writing skills to empower people in the community. I enjoy legal research and analysis because each legal issue is like solving a complex puzzle, and each solution can have a substantial impact. The solutions can help people get the justice they deserve, can help businesses to thrive so that entrepreneurs can find innovations that can significantly improve lives, and can empower people to make a difference in their communities.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
You can learn anything from a book. Although complex topics may seem intimidating, you can always learn something if you take the research one step at a time.

What impactful judge or lawyer inspires you?
I had the opportunity to work with several judges when I was a paralegal for the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. Each of them inspired me by showing how thoughtful they were for every case that appeared before them; they would thoroughly analyze every detail, every possible consequence of a decision, and every factor that could impact the case. It was inspiring to see how hard the judges worked to make sure they reached the right outcome.

What practice area would you like to focus on, and why?
I’m interested in corporate work and investment management because contributing to high-stakes matters that substantially impact businesses is exciting.

What attracted you to Stradley when making a decision on where to spend your summer?
Stradley is a firm that values diversity, works on exciting high-stakes corporate matters, and finds time to give back to the community. The people that I met from Stradley are passionate about the law, have brilliant legal minds, and encourage everyone to contribute substantively to the firm. One thing that sets Stradley apart from other firms is its people.


Samantha Krasker

SAMANTHA KRASKER
University of Notre Dame Law School
Philadelphia Office

What inspired you to become a lawyer?
I am a fourth-generation attorney, and the first woman. I’ve always appreciated how attorneys can use their education and skillset to guide clients through complex times in an efficient manner, easing clients’ concerns while working to solve a problem together.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
It’s a tie. First, trust the process. Second, let respect lead interactions. You never know someone’s individual stressors, especially in the face of litigation, criminal proceedings or transactions. We owe it to one another as professionals and people to treat one another with respect.

What impactful judge or lawyer inspires you?
G. Robert Blakey, author of the RICO statute and a Notre Dame Law School alum. His thoughtful, outside-of-the-box thinking led to reform and a new way of understanding the influence of authority and group dynamics.

What practice area would you like to focus on, and why?
Litigation. I enjoy learning about the intricates and layers of clients’ businesses to best represent their interests in bigger-picture matters.

What attracted you to Stradley when making a decision on where to spend your summer?
The mentorship and learning experience are uniquely tied to a 200-attorney firm. The opportunity to work with senior members of the firm as a summer associate is invaluable.


Jocelyn Near

JOCELYN NEAR
The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law
Washington, D.C. Office

What inspired you to become a lawyer?
In undergrad, I took a class called "Justice and Peace" that focused on various injustices in the world and attempts to create peace. The class opened my eyes to just how many injustices there are in the world and what role lawyers can play in righting such injustices.  

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
The best advice I've ever been given is to always stay eager to learn. When you are eager to learn, the opportunities will be endless. 

What impactful judge or lawyer inspires you?
I am inspired by Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. I had the opportunity to hear Justice Kagan speak and was inspired by her story of becoming the first female dean of Harvard Law School, Solicitor General, and eventually Supreme Court Justice. Additionally, I strive to be as clear, concise, and convincing as Justice Kagan is in her opinions. To be half the writer she is would be a great achievement!  

What practice area would you like to focus on, and why?
I would like to focus on Investment Management. My interest in finance and investments began with the financial crisis. My family, like many others, was deeply impacted by the crisis and I have been drawn to work that protects main street investors like my family.

What attracted you to Stradley when making a decision on where to spend your summer?
I have worked at Stradley for the last six years as a Legal Administrative Assistant in the investment management group. During those six years, I have met many great Stradlians who have inspired me to continue my education and development in investment management. Taking the next step in my career and continuing to work with the great Stradlians that I already work with each day seemed like a perfect fit.


Sanjana Pai

SANJANA PAI
Emory University School of Law
Philadelphia Office

What inspired you to become a lawyer?
I was raised in an Indian community of strong and driven women who pursued various fields of law. They instilled a sense of justice and empowerment within me which made me want to pursue law as well.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
This isn't really advice but always motivates me: You didn't get this far to get this far. This motto always reminds me of my personal, academic, and professional goals. It pushes me to work harder towards achieving them because my journey to become the best version of myself is not yet over.  

What impactful judge or lawyer inspires you?
Stacy Abrams. As a new Atlanta resident with a research background in voting rights, I am inspired by Abrams' work in Georgia to promote greater voter participation, ensure accuracy within voting records, and generally advance equity in the South.

What practice area would you like to focus on, and why?
I'm not fully sure yet but I am drawn to intellectual property litigation because it combines my interest in IP products (such as music, film, etc.), and public speaking and advocacy.

What attracted you to Stradley when making a decision on where to spend your summer?
I am drawn to Stradley due to their people-oriented office culture and the great mentorship opportunities.


Katherine Pfingsten

KATHERINE PFINGSTEN
Fordham University School of Law
Philadelphia Office

What inspired you to become a lawyer?
Though I worked in the fashion industry for several years before attending law school, I have always been drawn to the law. For example, as a little kid, I used to write contracts to get my older cousins to play with me. There was a summer when some variation of the following was frequently used: “Katherine agrees to make [cousin] 1 microwaveable s’more if [cousin] agrees to jump on the trampoline with her from 4:00pm-4:15pm.”

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
When she spoke to my class, Justice Rosalie Abella challenged us—as future lawyers—to always keep an open mind. She said “there is no pearl without some irritation in the oyster. The best ideas come out of things you disagree with.”  

What impactful judge or lawyer inspires you?
I had the privilege of meeting Justice Rosalie Abella of the Supreme Court of Canada while she was a visiting professor at Fordham Law. I was struck by her genuine love for the law and humanity. When she retired from the bench she said: “Justice is the application of law to life, not just the application of laws to facts.”  

What practice area would you like to focus on, and why?
As someone who had a business, I know I would like to do some type of transactional law. I really enjoyed taking Corporations and Financial Regulation last semester, and I would like to learn more about these subjects in practice. As such, I am interested in both corporate law and investment fund management.

What attracted you to Stradley when making a decision on where to spend your summer?
It goes without saying that Stradley has an incredible reputation in the legal community. In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know everyone I interviewed with. Because the law is such a collaborative field, I knew immediately that I could see myself learning from – and working with – all the people I met throughout the interview process.


Alexandra Romano

ALEXANDRA (ALLIE) ROMANO
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law
Philadelphia Office

As a 2022 Diversity Fellow, Allie will be spending a portion of her time throughout the summer working with Investment Company Institute.

What inspired you to become a lawyer?
My grandfather and father inspired me to become a lawyer. They showed me how the law can be used to positively change a community and how as a lawyer, every day serves as an opportunity to practice the virtues of honesty and integrity.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
The best advice I have been given is from Michael Trachtman, a partner with Wisler-Pearlstine and adjunct professor at Villanova Law School. He said, “Remember that law is a service business, and what you are selling is a peace of mind.” In other words, a lawyer must always put the client first and the client must always feel confident that you are the right person for the task.

What impactful judge or lawyer inspires you?
A lawyer that inspires me is Paul Cravath. Cravath pioneered a new model of law firm management that emphasized expansive training and working collaboratively with colleagues and corporate clients to implement strategies that would propel their long-term business goals.

What practice area would you like to focus on, and why?
I would like to focus on litigation. I was taught that lawyers are judged, not by the result, but by the accuracy of their prediction. Because litigation is more unpredictable, this practice area will challenge me to become an expert in every aspect of the client’s business so I can anticipate and advocate for their needs in court.

What attracted you to Stradley when making a decision on where to spend your summer?
Where to begin! I am especially drawn to Stradley because my interviewers had such an authentic and enthusiastic energy when discussing their role at the firm. I was also attracted to the firm’s emphasis on diversity and how our unique perspectives progress the continually evolving legal profession.