Capitol experience: Wayne Law student interned at Homeland Security panel


Wayne State Univiersity Law School student Mallory Fiordellisi, spent part of last summer in the nation’s capital, interning with Sen. Claire McCaskill at the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Fiordellisi is pictured on the speaker’s balcony of the Capitol Building.

– Photo courtesy of Mallory Fiordellisi

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Wayne Law student Mallory Fiordellisi interned last summer with Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) at the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, landing the opportunity through the Levin Center at Wayne Law, established by former U.S. Senator Carl Levin to educate future lawyers on the importance of government oversight.

“Senator McCaskill was a great role model in that sense,” Fiordellisi said. “As the ranking member of HSGAC, she has led the charge against waste and fraud among federal entities. I had the opportunity to get directly involved with several different investigations at varying stages, compiling data and writing memos for the Senator and committee staff.”

Fiordellisi’s No. 1 highlight was attending a health care rally on the steps of the Capitol Building.

“This was about a week before the major vote, where (Sen.) John McCain dramatically gave a thumbs down, killing an Obamacare repeal bill,” she said. “I tried to take a selfie of myself with Cory Booker in the background and he noticed I was too short to get a good photo so he came over and took my phone and took the selfie. It was awesome.”
Fiordellisi spent 10 weeks in the nation’s capital, joined after the first couple of weeks by her 3- and 5-year-old daughters, and her husband, a teacher at Sterling Heights High School. The family enjoyed doing the tourist sights.

“Visiting the museums and monuments were all great, but really I only have eyes for the Capitol Building — it’s so beautiful and full of incredible history,” Fiordellisi said. “Near the end of the summer I had the opportunity to tour the dome all the way up to the very top where the Statue of Freedom sits. It was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Fiordellisi’s original pick in undergraduate studies at Oakland University was engineering —“but it just wasn’t clicking.”

“I took a general business class and realized financial analysis and accounting skills came much more naturally to me,” she said. “I always knew I wanted to go to graduate school but wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do. I kind of went to law school on a whim. Fortunately, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

Fiordellisi, who worked as an administrative assistant at Plante Moran in Southfield, has a strong interest in business law, tying together her financial and legal backgrounds. With a graduation goal of 2019, she enjoys attending law school in Detroit.

“This city has gone through so much change over the past five years and it’s an incredible time to be here witnessing it,” she said.

A Provost’s Scholar and the recipient of the W.D. Traitel Scholarship, she has served as a student assistant with the school’s Admissions Office, and as a representative on the Student board of governors.

“Being in the evening program, our small group sometimes felt underrepresented in the everyday hustle of the law school,” she said. “I enjoyed being a voice for our cohorts among the day students.”

A native of Macomb Township, where she still makes her home, Fiordellisi juggles being a law school student with her life as a wife and mom.

“This sounds like a cliché, but I force myself to get 8 hours of sleep every night, even if that means not completing my to-do list,” she said. “It just isn’t worth the decrease in efficiency to stay up late trying to get everything done. I also have a very supportive husband and a big family that’s always there to help out if I get overwhelmed.”

Fiordellisi started a blog after attending the Women’s March in Washington in January 2017.

“Afterwards, I felt the news coverage did a very poor job portraying the spirit of the event and I wanted to write my own version, both for my friends and family to read, and also to document the experience for myself,” she explained. “In the age of social media, I think blogging is a great opportunity to really reflect on your experiences and the opinions you share, as opposed to firing off a 140-character Tweet. It’s been quite a while since I have blogged, but I like knowing it’s there if I need the outlet, although I’m honestly not sure if anyone besides my grandmothers actually read it.”


  1. No comments
Sign in to post a comment »