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OADI Honors 2024 Award Recipient

Emely Rodriguez

Emely Rodriguez is smiling at the camera and is standing next to the description of the award she won

What impact has OADI had on your professional experience?

The Defender Program, a P3 member program with OADI, had a significant impact on my professional experience by introducing me to public defense and paving the way for an internship at the Broome County Public Defender's Office. During this internship, I had the opportunity to start a project aimed at creating a "Jury Selection Handbook" for the attorneys at the office. This involved attending court sessions and observing the jury selection process firsthand, which was crucial for the handbook's development. Creating the "Jury Selection Handbook" and conducting legal research demanded meticulous attention to detail. Through this, I developed the ability to analyze complex legal information, ensuring accuracy and thoroughness in my work. The internship improved my communication skills, both written and verbal. I learned to articulate legal concepts clearly and concisely, whether drafting legal documents or discussing cases with attorneys. All in all, I mastered how to prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and maintain productivity in a fast-paced legal environment. OADI opened the door for a transformative experience that not only deepened my understanding of public defense but also significantly enhanced my professional skills and readiness for a career in law. 

What has it meant to be recognized for an award and as a recipient?

Being recognized for the Marvin Jack Award as an OADI Emerging Scholar-Leader, signifies more than personal achievement; it represents a milestone for all students from similar backgrounds who aspire to overcome challenges and excel in their academic and professional pursuits. Receiving this award has empowered me to continue striving for excellence, knowing that my efforts to motivate others in the OADI and Cornell community are recognized and valued. As a recipient, I feel a deep responsibility to set examples and precedents for others in my community. This award is not just a testament to my hard work but also proof that with dedication, perseverance, and the right support, students from underserved communities can achieve remarkable things.  Ultimately, being recognized as an OADI Emerging Scholar-Leader has allowed me to think about the legacy I want to leave behind. I am dedicated to making a lasting impact on my community by mentoring younger students, sharing my experiences, and working towards a more inclusive and supportive environment for all. 

What do you plan to do after graduation next year?

After graduating from Cornell, I plan on attending law school and obtaining my J.D., or I would like to pursue a Dual JD/MBA Degree Program. My goal for obtaining either of these degrees is to advocate for clients in need of legal assistance and make a meaningful impact on people's lives. 

Tell us a fun fact about yourself?

I love to bake during my free time and my favorite thing to make is Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies!