INTERVIEW: PATRICK LYNCH (JHU ’12), LAW CLERK, SULLIVAN AND CROMWELL

Patrick Lynch was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but bounced from Ohio to Texas to England before finding himself on the Homewood campus. At Hopkins, he majored in International Studies and was co-captain of the men’s varsity swim team (go Hop!). After graduating in 2012, he received a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in Malaysia.

Patrick graduated from George Washington University Law School in 2017. While in law school, Patrick was a Notes and Projects Editor of the George Washington Law Review and represented the law school in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration moot competition in Austria. After law school, Patrick moved to New York City and joined Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, focusing on general corporate law. Patrick is currently a law clerk pending admission to the New York bar.

When not working, Patrick enjoys running along the Hudson River and searching for the best sesame bagel in the five boroughs.

Describe a day in the life of a law clerk at Sullivan & Cromwell; feel free to describe your most memorable day on the job to date.

Generally speaking no two days are the same. I am not yet assigned to a specific practice group, which allows me to gain exposure to a variety of general corporate practice areas. On one recent day, I remember drafting an agreement relating to the formation of a hedge fund in the morning and by the afternoon I was researching the chartering requirements of forming a national bank. This diversity of work creates for a challenging and fast-paced work environment and has provided me with valuable experience as I begin to think about the type of law I will eventually specialize in.

What initially attracted you to this field? Do you have any advice for an undergraduate interested in pursuing this body of law?

I am excited to help individuals and corporate entities realize their business goals in forward-looking transactions. I really enjoy the fast-paced and diverse nature of corporate transactional work, which suits my personality. Additionally, the camaraderie of working on a deal team is something that I wanted to be a part of.

What are some of the rewards and downsides of this area of law and the legal profession so far?

I particularly enjoy the versatility and scope of the work with other bright lawyers. In the few short months since graduating from law school, I have been exposed to a variety of legal issues and transactions. Finding solutions to these issues and working with a team of talented lawyers to close a complex transaction is very rewarding. On the flip side, the work does involve long hours from time to time.

What advice do you have for an undergraduate interested in pursuing law school and a career in law given your experience in law school, today’s legal market and now as an attorney?

I would encourage undergraduates thinking about attending law school to try to find time to really interact with lawyers before applying to law school, whether through a legal internship or volunteer opportunity. These interactions may help push you towards one legal practice, or may even dissuade you from attending law school. This advice is particularly salient today given the cost of attending law school and the uncertainties of the legal job market.

Contact Information

Patrick is happy to answer questions and is reachable by email at: plynch9@gmail.com.

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