Brooklyn, New York
Daniela Talmadge has known she wanted to do legal work since a high school internship with the Queens County Supreme Court in New York.
“That was my first real experience with the legal profession, and the work I did that summer solidified my interest in pursuing a legal career; I knew law school would be in my future,” says Talmadge, adding she worked as a paralegal throughout her undergraduate career at CUNY Hunter College, where she helped with immigration and family law.
“Once I got more hands-on experience dealing with legal issues, I had a better view of how attorneys directly affect the lives of their clients,” she says. “Seeing the difference the firm made in a client’s life played a big role in my decision to attend law school.”
During her first year at Iowa Law, Talmadge participated in the Citizen Lawyer Program by volunteering at the New Iowans Legal Advice Clinic, which aims to give legal advice to those in Johnson County who are unable to afford or easily obtain legal services. She was also elected to serve as a Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG) 2L representative for the Iowa Student Bar Association.
Talmadge spent her summer interning for the New York Office of the Attorney General in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, where she assisted the criminal division in prosecuting crimes related to Medicaid fraud.
She is the first generation in her family to graduate from college after her grandparents immigrated to the U.S. from Italy in the 1950’s and —upon her graduation in May 2018 — will be the first person in her immediate family to graduate from law school.
Though she hasn’t settled on a practice area just yet, she says she could see herself very happy specializing in criminal law or doing civil rights work. Once she earns her J.D., Talmadge says she’s looking forward to getting some trial experience, and being an attorney able to work on cases.