Summer Job Diaries: Aspiring Environmental Lawyer Finds Her Footing in AG’s Office
Genine Cumba '20 is spending her summer in the Attorney General’s Natural Resources Law Section in the California Department of Justice. A graduate of Loyola Marymount University, Cumba worked as a legal assistant prior to enrolling at Loyola Law School.
Q: How did you land your summer job?
A: I heard about the position through my mentor, a Loyola Law alum who practices environmental law in Orange County. For my application, I worked closely with Career Development Office Associate Director Jolene Horn, to craft my resume and cover letter. I also worked with a Loyola writing tutor to edit my writing sample.
Q: What is the most interesting part of your job?
A: Seeing the law in practice is the most interesting part of this position. Working on cases that have local and national significance is a grounding experience that reminds me why I decided to pursue this career in the first place. Additionally, learning more about the attorneys in the office helps me visualize myself in their shoes.
Q: What has been your most challenging assignment thus far?
A: I’m currently researching a novel legal issue regarding the potential revocation of the California greenhouse gas waiver in the Clean Air Act. There are very few cases, if any, that directly address this issue, which makes it both difficult and exciting.
Q: What new legal skill have you acquired during your summer job?
A: Because of the demanding nature of this position, I have learned to be more efficient in conducting research. Additionally, I also have been helping attorneys in the office with discovery. While many might find discovery mechanical, it is an important stage in litigation. Many cases become mired in discovery disputes and I think it’s important for law students to learn and improve this foundational skill. Professor Lauren Willis’ Civil Procedure class taught me a great deal about the importance of procedure and the impact it can have on the outcome of a case. As an aspiring litigator, I feel fortunate to have had this exposure.
Q: What bit of legal knowledge have you been able to display?
A: Because my daily tasks require me to conduct legal research and writing, it makes sense that the most prominent skills I have been able to display are the ones I learned in my Legal Research & Writing class with Professor Mary Dant and Reference Librarian Caitlin Hunter. Even basic skills such as navigating the plethora of resources makes a difference in writing a memorandum. The knowledge I gained from Professor Adam Zimmerman's Torts class also helped me in drafting a complaint for a negligence claim.
Q: How has Loyola helped you map your career path?
A: Loyola has been instrumental in shaping my goals both in and out of the legal field. In addition to solidifying my passion for legal work, especially as it intersects with issue of social justice, Loyola has also given me a great professional and social network that will continue to support me throughout my career.