This fall, after taking the New York Bar Exam, Victoria Rubino will start working full time as an Assistant District Attorney in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. It’s a dream job for the Rockville Centre, NY native, who spent her childhood watching her father use his law degree to help others.
“I have a core memory of visiting Kramer, Dillof, Livingston & Moore, my dad’s law firm in lower Manhattan,” Rubino says. “I felt like a grown up. I would go around the office asking people questions, helping with whatever I could, and pretending to be a lawyer. My dad’s job felt very important to me because, in my eyes, he always had the right answer and made people feel better. I wanted to be just like him.”
That early interest grew and, when she was in college, Rubino spent the summer interning with the Queens DA’s Special Victims Unit. It was a formative experience. “I got to sit in while the ADAs interviewed a little girl,” Rubino recalls. “Watching them work, I knew I wanted to be an advocate, a voice, for people who can’t speak up on their own.” With that sense of purpose, after college, she applied to law school and chose to attend St. John’s.
“St. John’s Law was on my radar because a close family friend worked at the University,” Rubino explains. “But what also stood out to me was the Law School’s tremendous alumni base. It seemed like everyone I met was a graduate of St. John’s. Knowing there were all these people out there who were willing to help and answer any questions I had made me feel extremely supported. I believed I could succeed at St. John’s.”
While she remained open to exploring other practice areas, as a 1L Rubino continued to be drawn to criminal law. She spent the next two summers at New York City DA offices, first in Brooklyn and then in the Bronx. Back on campus, she joined the Frank S. Polestino Trial Advocacy Institute (PTAI) and participated in the Prosecution Clinic. “Once I joined PTAI, I knew I had found my group,” she shares. “I learned how to try cases, how to argue evidence, and how to capture the attention of a jury. In the clinic, I learned how to interview victims, handle discovery, and write motions. Those experiences have inspired me to become the best prosecutor I can be.”
As she prepares to serve the public as a Brooklyn ADA, Rubino is grateful and excited for the opportunity. “I’m ready to take everything I’ve learned at St. John’s and apply it to being an advocate for those who need it the most,” she says. “Being a prosecutor is a privilege. It’s a job that gives you power—you’re a voice for the people—and it’s a job I’m honored to have as I carry out justice with the highest degree of integrity. I’ve been supported by so many people over the last three years, and they have believed in me every step of the way, even when I didn’t believe in myself. Now I’m ready to make them all proud.”