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Law and Justice Major Gets Leg Up on Internship with Help from Faculty Mentor

People of Plattsburgh

chris baker

When Christopher Baker started at SUNY Plattsburgh, he didn’t anticipate he’d be interning for a U.S. magistrate judge.

But that door was opened when Dr. Raymond Carman, associate professor of political science, invited Baker to a lunch in spring 2022 with theHon. Glenn Suddaby ‘80, U.S. district judge of the Northern District of New York.

“Judge Suddaby was impressed with Chris, and when he reached out to thank Suddaby afterward, (the judge) offered to make a few inquiries on Chris’ behalf,” Carman said.

Baker, a junior law and justice major from Delmar, N.Y., said he owes his internship experience to Carman, who took him under his wing. Suddaby tapped fellow SUNY Plattsburgh alumnus, the Hon. Christian Hummell ‘77, also a U.S. magistrate judge for the Northern District of New York in Albany, and Baker interned for Hummel over the summer of 2022.

He observed jury selection, trials and sentencings related to criminal offenses like felony drug charges and police misconduct.

“The most stimulating part was observing court proceedings and meeting with judges in their chambers afterwards and talking about the case, my opinion and everything in between,” Baker said.

The internship taught Baker professionalism and analytical reasoning skills. He developed a deep respect for the decorum shown by Hummel, John Domurad, the court clerk, and other court personnel. Although Suddaby works in Syracuse, he would occasionally travel to Albany for a case and would check in with Baker.

“This experience made me a more confident person, a more personable person, and someone who has both perspectives of someone interpreting the law versus getting incriminated by the law,” Baker said. “The opportunities you can receive here (at SUNY Plattsburgh) are immense and you can develop a very strong connection with your professors.”

While Baker’s not sure what area of law he’d like to practice, he plans to go on to law school after graduating in 2024.

“Chris had an extremely meaningful experience, which happened because he was willing to take initiative and work hard,” Carman said.

— Photo, Story by Senior Communications Specialist Felicia Krieg

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