Sabina Mariella: 2016 Best and Brightest

Sabina MariellaSabina Mariella

Boston University School of Law

Hometown: Wayne, New Jersey

Undergraduate School: Wake Forest University

Undergraduate Major and Minor: Philosophy & Communication (double major)

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During Law School:  During my second year, I was a legal writing fellow. This year, I am the Senior Articles Editor for the BU Law Review. I have also worked for Professors Mark Pettit and Kristin Collins as a research assistant, and this summer I spent two weeks doing pro bono work at Manhattan Legal Services in their housing unit.

My academic honors include: G. Joseph Tauro Distinguished Scholar, Paul J. Liacos Distinguished Scholar, and a Dean’s Award in Employment Discrimination Law.

Where have you interned during law school?

  • The Honorable F. Dennis Saylor, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Boston, MA
  • Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, New York, NY
  • The Honorable Leo T. Sorokin, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Boston, MA

What practice area will you be specializing in after graduation? Litigation.

Why did you choose to attend law school? In college, I was a philosophy major and loved making arguments, poking holes in them, and then improving them. After I took a legal philosophy class, I realized that law school was something at which I could succeed.

What was your favorite law school class? Evidence with Professor Pettit. Mastering the rules of evidence is such an important, practical skill for any litigator in any practice area. And the interplay between all of the rules is like one big puzzle, which makes solving complex evidentiary problems very challenging and also very fun.

Which attorney do you most admire? Judge Saylor. Working for Judge Saylor was a very relieving experience for me—I had just finished a really tough first year of law school, but interning in his chambers helped me realize that I had made the right decision in going to law school because I loved the job so much. Judge Saylor is also just one of the most impressive people I’ve ever met. He is extremely poised and thoughtful in court, and an amazing writer. Working for him forced me to really pay attention to detail when writing, which is a skill that has proven very useful. He also gives great advice about effective trial advocacy skills—he writes a newspaper column on this subject and also teaches a trial advocacy class at BU. And on a personal level, he is so funny and pleasant to be around, and he make an effort to interact with his staff personally every day.

What have you enjoyed most about law school? The people at BU. Our professors are all outstanding and just wonderful people. It has been a pleasure getting to know them. Along the same lines, the student body here is full of people from all over the country with such varied backgrounds, eager to learn and make a difference.

What word best describes your professional brand? Balanced. I am a firm believer that key to staying focused and determined in an environment as demanding as law school is making time for yourself. After two-and-a-half years of law school, I am still passionate and curious about the law because I don’t let it completely consume me.

If you were debt free, how would you spend your first paycheck after landing your first law job? I hate paying rent, so I would put a down-payment on an apartment.

“I knew I wanted to go to law school when…I was working at a small plaintiff’s law firm in college, and listened in as my boss got a huge settlement offer for a young handicapped boy and his family.”

“If I didn’t go to law school, I would be…getting my Ph.D. in philosophy with the goal of teaching at a university.”

Which academic or personal achievement are you most proud of? Receiving an offer to clerk for a federal district court judge next year.

Fun fact about yourself: I was the first person in my family to get a bachelor’s degree.

Favorite book: A more recent favorite is Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. But the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho never gets old for me.

Favorite movie:  Big Daddy.

What are your hobbies? I love cooking, running, live music, and good books.

What made Sabina such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2016?

“Based on her superlative performance in two of my classes, I confidently predict a great career for Ms. Mariella. She is an extraordinarily motivated, disciplined, and analytically talented young woman who loves the intellectual challenges of law.”

Michael Harper
Professor of Law
Boston University School of Law