Andrew R., 2L
“At this, my master turned his head around
and toward the right, and looked at me and said:
‘He who takes not of this has listened well.’”
– Inferno XV.97-99.
Trastevere, July 18, 2012.
The staff at John Cabot went out of their way to provide us with extracurricular activities and opportunities. Many of them had to do with Rome itself – touring the museums, churches or landmarks of the city. But others were more particular to the program itself. Lawyers, academics and priests came to speak or give lectures on occasion, both in and outside of class.
Given his connections and subject matter of what he was teaching, Prof. Wulf Kaal’s International Finance class probably got the best cut overall of these speakers, or at least the most numerous.
One particularly good speaker who was made available to the entire John Cabot company however, especially for students with a penchant for jobs in international law, was U.S. Attorney Bill Nardini.
Nardini was the poster child for exporting your J.D. abroad. As a graduate of Yale, he got his start in a federal prosecutor’s office for a number of years before he decided to take it to Europe. Having learned to speak Italian during his school days, Rome was the perfect fit.
Although international criminal law might be a step or two removed from the work going on in your average prosecutor’s office, Nardini made the transition nonetheless. He now works in extraditions as a sort of go-between for the American and Italian prosecutorial systems. The process is governed by a series of treaties and American and Italian sources of criminal law, making Nardini’s day job something along the lines of half lawyer, half diplomat, and half federal agent. Human trafficking cases, and cases involving drug running or the illegal export of national treasures are the order of the day for someone who works for the U.S. Attorney’s office abroad, along with State department to ensure the fair trade of certain criminals in American back to Italy.
For a job like this, even a presentation of above-average length seems little more than an ice breaker. But probably the best comment was raised by our own Professor Kahn: “Mr. Nardini, how on earth did you even get a job like that?”
Cookie-cutter responses like “just keep on trying and you’ll get there eventually” sound like one thing when it comes from someone who might lack the chops to say it. But Nardini favored the direct approach.
“Just ask,” he said. Find someone whose job you want and ask them what they did to get there. Be shrewd, be open to what comes your way, but above all, be perseverant in the pursuit of what you’re aiming for. Simply talking to someone (or letting them talk to you) about where to go, what to do, and how to get there can make all the difference in the world, for no one knows the road like one who’s traveled it before.