Committed to Public Service and the City of Philadelphia
Noah DeSimone, Class of 2023
Noah DeSimone said his interest in public service was impressed upon him by his family at an early age. As a child, he watched his mother act as a translator for his Italian grandparents as they ran errands like visiting the bank or hardware store. Coming from a family of first and second generation immigrants, DeSimone said he saw the importance of advocating for people, especially those who might struggle to have a voice in an unfamiliar environment.
“I always thought it would be cool to stand next to someone and speak for them,” DeSimone said. “Not everyone is the best at putting into words what they need, or navigating a system.”
A 3L, DeSimone hopes to serve as a public sector attorney in the Philadelphia area after he graduates from Drexel University's Thomas R. Kline School of Law.
DeSimone already has a head start toward his career goal. During the summer of 2022, he served as an intern for the City of Philadelphia's Code & Public Nuisance Litigation Unit, which specializes in zoning and license issues for the city. DeSimone said he applied skills he learned at Drexel Kline Law during his internship. For example, DeSimone regularly dealt with the statutory interpretation of federal law and city codes, which he first learned about through a Legislation & Regulation course in his first year at Drexel Kline Law.
“[The Office of Career Strategies] actually recommended I apply for the Oxholm fellowship that funded my internship... They're always on the line ready to give advice.”
DeSimone's summer internship with the City of Philadelphia was funded through Drexel Kline Law's Carl “Tobey” Oxholm III Summer Fellowship, which is awarded annually to students seeking a career in public service. He also got to work closely with another Drexel Kline Law graduate, Desjeneé Davis, JD '21, who received the Oxholm Fellowship in 2020 and now works for the city as an assistant city solicitor in the Philadelphia Law Department's litigation group.
For DeSimone, working alongside a Drexel Kline Law graduate and former Oxholm fellow speaks to the law school's excellence at preparing students for meaningful careers.
“It's a school where people are trying to make a name for themselves,” DeSimone said. “Everyone has that same drive, I think, in recognizing that the school is newer.”
As a first generation law student, DeSimone admitted he struggled at first to find an internship aligned with his interest in the public sector. However, he credits Drexel Kline Law's Office of Career Strategies for guiding him through each step of the internship application process during his first year at Drexel Kline Law, from reminding him of application deadlines, to providing more nuanced professional etiquette advice along the way.
As DeSimone weighed multiple offers for internships, the Office of Career Strategies helped him assess his options and pick the best one for his goal of working in the Philadelphia area.
“They actually recommended I apply for the Oxholm fellowship that funded my internship,” DeSimone said. “They're always on the line ready to give advice.”
DeSimone's experience in the public sector continued in the fall through Drexel Kline Law's co-op externship program. He served in the United States Department of Labor's Office of Administrative Law Judges, working with the 2014 Oxholm Fellow, Eric Bergel, JD '14, an attorney advisor who also leads the Department of Labor's internship program.
Carl “Tobey” Oxholm Summer Fellowship
For 15 years and counting, the Drexel Kline Law's Oxholm Fellowship program has awarded a stipend and internship at Philadelphia's Law Department to select 2Ls who are committed to public service. The program is funded by a gift from former Drexel Senior Vice President and General Carl “Tobey” Oxholm III and is now awarded to two students annually.
Andy and Gwen Stern Community Lawyering Clinic
DeSimone got another taste of direct advocacy through Drexel Kline Law's Andy and Gwen Stern Community Lawyering Clinic. This experience allowed DeSimone to serve people in the neighboring Mantua and Powelton Village sections of Philadelphia. “I really loved advocating for clients and communicating with the necessary parties to advance my clients' commutation cases,” he said. Find out more about clinical experiences at Drexel Kline Law.
Drexel Kline Law's co-op program is one way to satisfy the law school's experiential learning requirement. It allows students to do meaningful work for academic credit at a law firm, corporate office, government agency, court or public law organization—for a semester or an entire academic year, part-time or full-time. The law school has more than 200 co-op partners to choose from but also allows students to identify their own opportunity. Learn more about the co-op program.