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Jun 4, 2019 10:48 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

At 20, East Quogue Resident Is Youngest Ever To Graduate From Touro Law School

Jun 4, 2019 3:17 PM

At 20 years old, Amanda Schaefer is the youngest person to ever graduate from Touro Law School in Central Islip.The East Quogue resident enrolled in the American Bar Association-accredited law school in May 2017. In her first fall semester, at just 18 years old, she received an award for earning the highest grade in trademark property law—her father’s “niche.”

She explained that her late father, John E. Schaefer Jr., practiced property law at Albanese & Albanese in Garden City for more than 15 years.

“It’s in my blood,” Ms. Schaefer said.

From a young age, she said she would watch her father and attempt to mimic his composure and professional demeanor.

“Ever since I was young, I wanted to go to law school,” she said. “I believe he would be proud of me.”

Ms. Schaefer passed her New York Bar exam in February—just three months prior to walking across the graduation stage with her Juris Doctor degree.

Over the course of the two-year program, Ms. Schaefer interned at the Touro Law Senior Citizens’ Law Program, which provides free legal services to elderly Suffolk County residents, as well as the Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County in Central Islip.

Outreach Director Liz Justesen called Ms. Schaefer an “asset to the profession,” praising her on her research and writing skills.

Last fall, she helped draft motions for the society’s criminal defense division, under the supervision of Attorney in Charge Laurette Mulry, and also reviewed court proceedings and pre-trial arraignments.

“It’s good to see how things play out in real life—especially when you’re in the two-year program,” Ms. Schaefer said. “We do have that culture in our country where law students are expected to stand on their own two feet, and you can’t learn how to be a lawyer from a book.”

Prior to achieving her law degree, she earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and political science from Stony Brook University in 2017.

Ms. Schaefer graduated from Westhampton Beach High School at 15 years old in 2014.

But Ms. Schaefer said she’s not quite ready to immediately jump into practicing at a firm. She’d rather study abroad in Europe and earn her LLM, or Master of Laws degree, an internationally recognized postgraduate law degree.

She said she is currently researching different schools to find the “best fit.”

When she eventually settles in at a firm, she said that she hopes to make a difference in her field.

“As of many things in life, it really matters how you apply the powers you have and the amount of resources you’re given. It matters how you choose to apply it,” she said. “It’s a powerful tool, and it allows you to be a blessing. I hope that I’m able to be a blessing for people.”

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