Return Visit: Wayne Law student to intern for a second summer in D.C.

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

A former USAF intelligence officer, second year Wayne Law student Kyle Bruckner found that background was a great preparation for law school.

“The analytical processes are nearly identical, with the only difference being that in the Intelligence Community I was analyzing threat issues and as a law student I’m learning to analyze legal issues,” he explains. “My time as an intelligence officer was about as good of a bridge between my undergraduate studies and law school as I could have hoped.” 

Bruckner was back in familiar military territory last summer as an honors intern with the U.S. Department of Defense’s General Counsel at the Pentagon’s Standards of Conduct Office.

“It was a once in a lifetime experience,” he says. “And the administrative law work I did, which dealt largely with statutory interpretation and rule-making, is the field of law I’ve found I enjoy the most so far.”
He will return to the nation’s capital this summer, as an investigations and oversight clerk with the minority staff of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

“I was thrilled to be nominated by the Levin Center at Wayne Law as one of its first congressional interns,” he says.

Always interested in politics and public service, Bruckner earned his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University’s James Madison College where he served in the Student Senate; and also was a member of Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC).

“My International Relations major was a natural choice given my political interests, but also because my dad is Canadian and I’ve been traveling across the border for as long as I can remember,” he says.
“AFROTC was not only an opportunity to exercise the commitment to public service I learned from my grandparents, but it also allowed me to envision a future in the national security field I was devoted to studying at Madison.”

As a USAF intelligence officer, Bruckner was trained in a wide range of disciplines. With a particular interest in fighter aircraft, he gained assignment to Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, where he first served as Deputy Chief of Intelligence Analysis for the 20th Operations Support Squadron, then as Chief of Intelligence for the 55th Fighter Squadron, providing threat analysis tailored to 40 F-16 fighter pilots.
“Service has always been important to my family and I feel blessed the USAF gave me the opportunity to launch what I hope is a long career in public service,” he says. “I’m proud to call myself an active duty veteran and thankful for the opportunity to continue my service in the reserves.”

At Wayne Law, Bruckner has found a similar sense of community that he had at James Madison College and in the USAF.

“Having a comparatively small student body and professors who take joy in supporting their students, I always have someone to turn to,” he explains. “With its strong ties to the local community, through the work of our student clinics, student organization outreach, programming, or alumni network, I feel connected to the legal community in Detroit and Michigan at large.”

Always one to seek out and volunteer for leadership positions, Bruckner is serving as president of the Wayne Law Veterans Association (WLVA) and as president of the International Law Students Association (ILSA).  He also serves as article editor for The Journal of Law in Society and as a student representative for the BARBRI Bar Review.

“Student organizations are an excellent way to network with others with similar interests and to develop the professionalism required by the legal profession, such as time management, interpersonal skills, and leadership,” he says.

He has been working since last fall as a student attorney in the Transnational Environmental Law Clinic (TELC), gaining real world experience in the public sector field.

“Working on projects such as evaluating the planned I-94 expansion through Detroit and drafting numerous comments for local environmental permits have allowed me to explore issues with real community impact,” he says. “Also, the mentoring provided by Professor Schroeck and the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center has been invaluable.”

He also is broadening his experiences by clerking at the personal injury law firm of Ravid & Associates, P.C. in Southfield.

“So far I have a lot of government and public interest exposure, but had never been in a law firm environment before,” he says. “I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to get to know the attorneys and staff as well as working with clients directly.”

A native of Fort Gratiot Township near Port Huron, Bruckner currently lives in Royal Oak, where he serves on the Civil Service Board and the Rehabilitation Board of Appeals.

“Hopefully, opportunities to serve will continue to present themselves so I can continue to give back and be a positive impact for my community,” he says.

In his leisure time he is an avid golfer, enjoys traveling, watching sports, movies, enjoying family cottages in northern Michigan and Ontario; and spending time with his parents and sisters, and with his new Springer Spaniel rescue puppy, Frankie.

While he was already familiar with the Motor City, living in the metro area has allowed Bruckner to learn a great deal more than during his previous life “up river.”

“With the resurgence being seen throughout the city in recent years, it’s definitely an exciting time to be here,” he says. “There’s still so much more that needs to be accomplished in our post-bankruptcy world, and I hope to make a positive contribution.”


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