Work Hard, Foster Relationships, Give Back

Meghan J. Summers, '12

Meghan J. Summers ‘12 received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University, graduating summa cum laude and first in her major with a 4.0 GPA. As an undergraduate student at Cornell, Meghan studied communications, a major which allowed her to hone her writing and public speaking skills. She also spent time as a legal trainee at a solicitor’s firm in Dublin, Ireland, where she learned to draft contracts, perform legal research, and even assisted in writing a book chapter on Ireland’s cartel immunity program. It was this experience that made Meghan first realize her passion for the law.

After graduating from Cornell, Meghan spent a year working as a paralegal at Kirby McInerney LLP, a boutique litigation firm in New York City specializing in individual and class action securities fraud, antitrust, and qui tam litigation. As a paralegal, Meghan learned the rules of civil procedure and legal citation – skills that would come in especially useful in the years to come. She also solidified her plans for law school, applying to Pace Law School, where she was accepted with a full tuition scholarship.

While at Pace, Meghan continued to work part-time as a law clerk at Kirby McInerney. She also immersed herself in every opportunity that Pace had to offer. For example, she participated in Pace’s Federal Judicial Honors Program, through which she obtained an externship in the chambers of Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison, United States District Court, Southern District of New York. The Judicial Honors Program also allowed Meghan to get to know one of her favorite professors, Jill Gross. “Professor Gross was my mentor for the program and worked with me on my writing piece.  She was one of those rare professors that took a real interest in her students, always having thoughtful and constructive feedback and advice to offer.”

At Pace, Meghan also served as an articles editor for the Pace Law Review and as a research assistant for another of her favorite professors, Professor Thomas McDonnell, during which time she edited and cite-checked a book Professor McDonnell authored on international law and terrorism. Meghan also spent a semester at University College London as part of Pace’s London Law Program. While there, she took courses on various aspects of international and EU law. Finally, Meghan participated in the Suspension Representation Project as a student advocate, where she represented New York City public school students at school suspension hearings.

During law school, Meghan also obtained various legal internships. During her 1L summer, Meghan served as an intern at the John Jay Legal Services, Criminal Justice Clinic: Post-Conviction Project, where she worked alongside Professor Adele Bernhard to help exonerate wrongfully convicted individuals through the presentation of newly discovered evidence. During her 2L summer, Meghan worked on criminal and family law cases at the Legal Aid Society of Orange County. Meghan also spent time during both summers (and throughout the school years) working for Kirby McInerney. After graduating from Pace summa cum laude in 2012, Meghan accepted an Associate position at Kirby McInerney.

At Kirby McInerney, Meghan specializes in complex commercial litigation, including the representation of plaintiffs in, inter alia, individual and class action lawsuits involving securities and commodities fraud, structured finance fraud, antitrust, consumer fraud, and common law torts. She is currently litigating several noteworthy cases, including In re Libor-Based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation and In re Foreign Exchange Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litigation, the latter of which has already achieved partial settlements of over $2 billion. She is also working to expand the firm’s reach into Europe, where collective redress mechanisms are becoming more prevalent, particularly in the context of securities and antitrust litigation. In December 2017, Meghan was elevated to firm partnership, and is currently the youngest Partner Kirby McInerney has ever had.

In her spare time, Meghan volunteers with the animal rescue organization, Stray from the Heart, through which she rescued her own dog from Puerto Rico in 2015. She is an avid fitness enthusiast and is currently training for her second Spartan Race, and she also loves to travel internationally whenever she can. Meghan’s advice for current and future law students? “Work hard, have an open mind, and take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. You never know who you will meet, what you will learn, and where each opportunity will take you. Foster relationships with your professors, with one another, and with others around you – those relationships are invaluable. Don’t forget to give back. Being a member of the legal profession is a privilege and with that, comes the responsibility to help the less fortunate. And most importantly, figure out your passion and pursue it with all your heart. It is so much more rewarding when you live to work, rather than work to live.”