Student Spotlight: Kiley Burns ’25

Tell us about your experience as professional development co-chair of NYU Law Women.

Serving as professional development co-chair of Law Women has been an incredibly rewarding experience. The Law Women Board is a supportive, fun group of women and being a part of that has been one of the highlights of my 2L year.

Kiley Burns
Kiley Burns ’25

My co-chairs and I are responsible for planning events related to the professional development prong of Law Women’s mission, which includes exposing students to speakers within private practice, public interest, and academic careers. When I went to law firm events as a 1L, I struggled to find women to talk to and share their honest perspectives about working in law firms, so my co-chair and I placed a huge emphasis on providing those opportunities when creating our programming for this year. We've had a lot of great events, including our student panel on navigating law school and our attorney panel on a day in the life of Big Law. 

I’m most proud of all of the work our committee put into planning our annual law firm networking reception. We had nearly 130 students and attorneys attend, and I value the open and honest conversations our members were able to have with attorneys as they go through law firm recruitment this summer.

Tell us about your involvement with the NYU Journal of Law & Business and role as community co-chair of the Law Business Association (LBA). 

I am interested in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and impact investing, so I've found LBA and the Journal of Law & Business to be great avenues to meet students with similar interests and gain exposure to different practice areas of corporate law. As community co-chair of LBA, I plan social events and student-led panels designed to foster relationships among our members. I leaned heavily on 2Ls and 3Ls for advice when applying to law firms and deciding which classes to take, so I hope our events have created opportunities for our new members to do the same. NYU Law has leading corporate faculty and scholarship, and I am excited to continue to engage with that community as a senior articles editor of the Journal of Law & Business next year. 

What has been your favorite law school class so far?

The Business Transactions Clinic! It’s no secret that law school is litigation-focused, so I wanted to participate in a clinic that provides insight into life as a transactional lawyer. I appreciate Professor Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal’s focus on teaching us basic financial concepts and vocabulary, so that we have a practical understanding of the work we may do down the line. My client is launching a startup in a few months, and my work has been at the intersection of business and legal strategy—learning her business plan and identifying solutions for legal risks that may arise now and in the future. It’s the kind of strategic advice I hope to provide as a lawyer. 

What is the best part about going to law school in New York City?

I continue to be impressed by the faculty NYU Law attracts. In corporate law specifically, the faculty includes both leading academics and current practitioners, a combination made possible by our location. I value learning about the current legal issues and challenges these professors face in their jobs, and it helps the curriculum feel fresh.

Living in NYC is also just fun! I worked here for three years before law school, and I’m lucky to have a great friend group that has expanded in law school. I love running on the West Side Highway, playing pickleball in McCarren Park, and trying out the incredible restaurants around school. Where else can you have an A-list celebrity sighting on your way to Con Law?

Any advice you wish you could give your 1L self?

Lean in, but don’t take everything so seriously. 1L was challenging but incredibly rewarding. I often found myself feeling lucky to be surrounded by such smart and thoughtful section-mates, and I think it's important to appreciate those moments because it does really fly by. Sometimes, it’s more valuable to spend 30 minutes chatting with your friends than agonizing over understanding a case for class. 

I also can’t recommend finding a great study group enough! I would not have made it through without my friends and I painstakingly mapping out our courses on a chalkboard in the basement of Furman. 

Favorite podcast to listen to?

Right now, I'd have to say “New Heights”! I'm a huge football fan, and the Kelce brothers are an absolute treat to listen to. I crack up each week, and I love hearing their perspectives on the game and appreciate their emotional vulnerability. Plus, the Taylor Swift scoop doesn't hurt! 

Posted on March 14, 2024