Building a Case and, Ultimately, a Career — Student Success Story
Connor Hackert, Class of 2015
Connor Hackert’s co-op provided experience with federal investigations, civil rights and employment discrimination.
But the most exhilarating experience Connor Hackert had in his co-op placement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Civil Division was a slip-and-fall case involving an elderly woman who sustained injuries at a post office.
Connor managed all aspects of the case, from setting up the video at the hearing to leading the deposition, reading through the medical records, drafting discovery and arguing the case before three federal arbitrators.
“That’s what practicing attorneys do,” he said. “Being able to handle the case from start to finish allowed me to see the bigger picture and craft my own theory of the case.”
Arguing at the arbitration hearing was a terrific experience, Connor said, despite the fact that he actually lost.
His supervisor said he had handled the case perfectly and had not made a single wrong move.
“Sometimes you win some and sometimes you lose some,” Connor said. “The experience is what matters the most to me. I was able to stand before a federal arbitration panel and say the words, ‘Connor Hackert on behalf of the United States.’”
Though Connor clerked for Judge Michael Guadagno of the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division immediately after graduating, he’s once again able to speak on behalf of the United States, having accepted a coveted job offer as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division in Washington, D.C.