LU's Antonio Lopez Maldonado selected for Duke University School of Law internship

Antonio Lopez Maldonado, Lamar University political science major, was one of 22 students accepted to attend a four-week internship at the Duke University School of Law with over 110 applicants throughout the United States.Maldonado Photo at Duke

Maldonado was encouraged to apply for the internship by Lamar University’s Department of Political Science faculty and staff as program was looking for more students from the southern region to apply. A short two weeks before the internship began, he received an acceptance email.

“I remember I was driving, and I received an email with the words, ‘Duke acceptance,’ Maldonado said. “I couldn't believe it. So, I pulled over and I checked the email. It was my acceptance email. I couldn’t believe it.”

The Duke Pre-Law Fellowship Program is a four-week residential program that aims to introduce rising college sophomores and juniors to the study of law and to the legal profession.

The university targets Historically Black Colleges and Univeristy (HBCU) and members of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Univeristies (HACU). From these universities, Duke then selects 20 to 30 candidates who have an interest in pursuing law.

“We visited various law schools where we learned more about the admissions process, spoke with law firms and judges about different areas of law, and we were pushed to our limits academically as we attended daily classes taught by Duke Law faculty. I even had the experience of representing a client as an attorney during our mock trial,” Maldonado said.

Maldonado said he is grateful for the experience as an immigrant and first-generation student who didn’t feel like he fit in. The internship has solidified his passion for law. 

“I am incredibly grateful for the invaluable knowledge and lifelong relationships it has provided me, which have only further confirmed my desire to pursue a career in the legal field."