Our Summer 2017 Legal Interns

This year Mauck & Baker had two talented legal interns join the firm for six weeks. We had one returning intern from last summer, Matthew Jacobs, and one new, Blackstone Legal Fellow, Hailey Vrdolyak. Matthew lives on the south side of Chicago and attends Vanderbilt Law of School. Hailey is from Hinsdale, Illinois and attends Notre Dame School of Law. The Blackstone Legal Fellowship is branch of the Alliance Defending Freedom that prepares Christian law students for careers marked by integrity, excellence, and leadership. 

From Hailey Vrdolyak

“You don’t know what you know until you know what you don’t know,” my grandpa told us one night during dinner. At first, this sentence sounded almost nonsensical, but after working at Mauck & Baker this summer, I realized how wise and true that statement really is.

On my first day, I was immediately given case documents to read to prepare me for the real work I would be doing on those cases. Although I quickly became cognizant of my shortcomings, the attorney trusted in my work and patiently guided me along the way. I learned many valuable skills this summer, but more importantly, I grew in humility through awareness of my limitations.

At times, I admit, sitting at a desk for hours each day while reading case after case just searching for some specific point of law can be draining. In isolation, the task may seem menial, but in the context of the case as a whole, where the client’s livelihood may be at stake, the job is not so inconsequential. From the even broader perspective of Christian vocation, the assignment takes on greater significance still.

If one is called to a particular vocation, any task within that profession is part of the greater whole of God’s plan and can be offered up to God as a prayer. St. Josemaria Escriva sums up this concept of sanctifying work explaining, “We see in work, in men’s noble creative toil, not only one of the highest human values, an indispensable means to social progress and to greater justice in the relations between men, but also a sign of God’s Love for His creatures, and of men’s love for each other and for God.” In this way, if viewed correctly, our work can be a means of growing closer to God and bringing His light to bear on the world.

The attorneys at Mauck & Baker have truly taught me this truth through example. No matter the case, they always view it within their mission as Christians. A priest once told me we have too many lawyers but not enough attorneys. He clarified the word attorney comes from the Latin “attornatus,” meaning advocate. The Mauck & Baker attorneys exemplify the distinction. From praying for their clients to working long hours, these advocates take on cases as their own with love, in the pure sense of willing the good of the clients.

I will take these lessons back with me to law school where the work usually seems meaningless and it is not always easy to love your classmates. Within the context of my Christian vocation, I hope to be an advocate for all those God places in my life, as the attorneys at Mauck & Baker are.

From Matthew Jacobs 

My time at Mauck & Baker has allowed me to gain invaluable experience in the field of litigation and land-use disputes. But, more importantly, it has shown me how a good Christian law firm should function and operate. The attorneys at Mauck & Baker not only prioritize a spirit of excellence, but a practice of integrity and honesty. They pride themselves in the discipleship of their interns as well as providing them with the training and guidance needed in the modern day law firm.

In the time that I’ve been at Mauck & Baker, I have been exposed to a plethora of legal issues and tasked with the resolution of several disputes. While here, I have seen the litigation process from the formation of complaints to the conclusion of settlements. I was also given the opportunity to aid in several transactional legal matters as well; including corporate matters, IP research, and estate management.

More important than all these things, the attorneys of Mauck & Baker showed me how to submit one’s work to the Kingdom of God and put His will first as He guides your practice. Understanding that all things should be done to the glory of God has continued to be the creed of this firm and is a motive they share with all of their interns.

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