Community Health Major Hired In Pre-Law Minor

Jodiann Mattis is graduating from York College this spring but she is already enjoying the fruits of her education.

Mattis attended a "talk about careers," organized by York Political Science professor, Dr. Michael Sharpe. The headliner was Allan B.K. Urgent, Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Newark, New Jersey and his law school buddy, Phillip HoSang, Jr., a senior associate at the law firm of Aaronson Rappaport Feinstein & Deutsch, in midtown Manhattan.

“Mr. Urgent did a favor for me and came and gave a talk at York after I gave a talk at the US Attorney's Office in Newark [New Jersey] for Black History Month last year, said Dr. Sharpe, who describes Mattis as “Fantastic.”

Mattis, a Community Health Education major and pre-law minor, introduced her self and asked HoSang for an internship at Aaronson Rappaport Feinstein & Deutsch, LLP; the lawyer loved her spunk and a pre-law intern was born.

Following the internship, Mattis was hired as a part-time employee doing para-legal work with the firm. After a mere three weeks on the job the Jamaican-born go-getter was offered the job in a full-time capacity pending her graduation from York in June. It is quite a coup for a young person still in college.

According to the firm’s website, just last year Aaronson Rappaport Feinstein & Deutsch, LLP was designated a “Metropolitan New York first tier law firm by U.S. News - Best Lawyers in the fields of Medical Malpractice Defense, Product Liability Defense and Personal Injury Defense.” The firm prides itself as “a leading defense litigation firm” of 29 partners.

Mattis finds that her Community Health Education fits well with the needs of the firm as many of their cases, such as asbestos exposure, are community health-related and she is part of the three-member asbestos litigation team. 

“I eventually want to go to law school and specialize in medical malpractice,” said Mattis, who credits Dr. Harper with helping her prepare for the job. “She’s done a tremendous amount to guide my footsteps. She goes the extra mile, even paying a babysitter so she could come in and meet with me on her day off.”

She also praises Community Health Professors Mitchell Brodsky and Charlene Lane, with preparing her for a successful future.

“Jodiann is a special individual,” said Dr. Brodsky. “From the several conversations I have had with her in and outside of class, I have found her to be filled with excitement for learning. Her questions are pointed. Her smile is infectious and her quest for knowledge is unparalleled; as well as her desire to excel. She will benefit any firm fortunate enough to hire her.”

Mattis, the eldest of three siblings, came to York two years ago following graduation from Queensborough Community College. She credits much of her success to the foundation of love and support from her parents as well.

“They have worked so hard for me,” she says. “And they are always encouraging and guiding me. I have appreciated everything they have done for me. I can’t let them down.”

Harper is confident she will not.
“She is an amazingly conscientious student, Professor Harper says of Mattis. “I have the pleasure of having her as an independent study student this semester and she is doing a fascinating piece on malpractice law. I am enjoying learning with her.

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