Alumni Spotlight: Molly Mauck ’16

Last month, Molly Mauck ’16 joined the New York County (Manhattan) District Attorney’s Office. As a first-year NYLS student, Mauck didn’t expect that she would become a prosecutor. She came to the role through a process of trial and error.

“I remember thinking as a 1L that I had to fit a certain mold and follow a specific path, but I learned through experience and talking with professors and practicing lawyers that there is no set path,” she says.

Mauck grew up in a small town in Illinois and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign with a degree in Communications and minors in Philosophy and Political Science. When she enrolled at NYLS, directly after college, she was determined to hone in on a specific practice area.

An early interest in Contracts led her to a summer internship at a major law firm, but she soon realized that “Big Law” wasn’t the right fit. During her 2L year, she continued to pursue her interest in transactional work through an externship at The Estée Lauder Companies. Mauck became a member of the Moot Court Association and the New York Law School Law Review. She also competed in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna, Austria.

As Mauck refined her career path, she increasingly gravitated towards public interest law. She spent the summer after her 2L year as a member of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Honors Program in Washington, D.C. That experience and her Constitutional Law courses led Mauck to enroll in Professor Deborah N. Archer’s Civic Rights Clinic, which became one of her favorite NYLS courses.

After graduating cum laude in 2016, Mauck clerked for a year in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for Judge Joel H. Slomsky ’70 before landing her current role.

Mauck likes that her work as an Assistant District Attorney is demanding and varied, with plenty of opportunities for training. She spends most days in court, helping to assess incoming cases or working in a specific courtroom as needed. During breaks and in the evenings, she works on ongoing cases.

She credits her NYLS professors with modeling the intellectual curiosity she embraced as a law student.

“Along with Professor Archer, Professors Edward Purcell and Doni Gewirtzman encouraged key habits: curiosity, the desire to learn something new every day, and the ability to keep an open mind,” she says. “They influenced how I tried to find my own passion.”

Her advice to law students is simple: “Work hard, have an open mind, and make your own success. Keep that as a driving force, and you’ll get to where you’re supposed to be.”