Student Spotlight: Amanda Gonzalez Burton ’21

Amanda Gonzalez Burton
Gonzalez Burton

Fellow, Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Network
Norma Z. Paige Scholarship

What drew you to NYU Law?

I chose NYU School of Law because of its career development opportunities. I am a mother and a first-generation law student, so job security was a high priority in choosing which law school to attend. Our Office of Career Services is truly second to none among the top law schools. Like many of my peers, I began my 2L year with an offer in hand from my first-choice law firm.

What has been the best surprise about your law school experience?

I was pleasantly surprised by the close friendships I formed with many of my 1L section classmates. I expected law school to be competitive and 1L year, especially, has a reputation of wearing you down, but we made it a priority to build each other up.

What unique opportunities has your fellowship provided?

Before law school, I was an entrepreneur and an independent consultant and I knew my interests were somewhere at the intersection of business and law. But my career goals were somewhat vague. For me, a law degree was (and still is) about empowerment more than anything. I see myself as a future leader in this profession. To that end, one of the best things I did was apply for the Birnbaum Women's Leadership Fellowship. Through this fellowship I spent the week before my 1L spring semester at a leadership training program hosted by Sara Moss, the executive vice president and general counsel of The Estée Lauder Companies. Sara was really active in the program and I was able to build a relationship with her. I became curious about counseling companies and potentially becoming a general counsel one day. She allowed me to shadow her for a portion of her day at the Estée Lauder offices in midtown. I mentioned I am going to be the first lawyer in my family so this kind of access was wild. Sara is also the person who first encouraged me to explore law firms with strong emerging-companies and venture-capital practices. Thanks to her guidance, I will be joining Cooley following graduation, a firm recognized for its excellence in these practice areas. 

Posted May 24, 2021