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Cody Carbone L’16 Discusses Legislative Affairs with DCEx Students

Posted on Thursday 2/18/2021
Cody Carbone L'16

As part of the spring 2021 Washington, DC, Externship Program Cody Carbone L’16 spoke with College of Law DCEx students on February 8 about his work on Ernst & Young’s Federal Legislative Affairs Team. Carbone described his job as divided between acting as a voice for EY on Capitol Hill and communicating legislative updates to EY’s partners.

Carbone explained that he represents the firm and its partners through building relationships across Capitol Hill. He communicates EY’s policy viewpoints to these policymakers, which can range from issues in financial services, accounting, and agriculture, to emerging technology. 

In relaying to EY’s partners what is happening on Capitol Hill, Carbone must read 150-plus page laws, boiling them down to six bullet points for a briefing. He said that the skills in condensing material he gained in his Legal Communications and Research classes has helped him succeed in this aspect of his job. 

Carbone holds a J.D. from the College of Law as well as an M.P.A. from the Maxwell School. After passing the bar in July 2016, he began working at EY, a global professional services network considered one of the “Big Four” accounting firms. 

Carbone observed that EY has been fortunate not be impacted as much as other companies by the difficulties COVID-19 presents in terms of telework. The only major difficulty Carbone said he has faced is communicating with congressional and administrative members, especially new members. He mentioned how much harder it is to create a trusting and engaging relationship “over Zoom and a telephone than over beer and a steak.” However, besides that difficulty, he said that EY has adapted well to online work.

Carbone ended his presentation by giving the DCEx students advice to not be afraid of networking because it can be a very important tool in finding summer internships or post-graduation employment. Throughout law school, and even today, Carbone messaged College of Law alumni via LinkedIn. Starting a message with “I am a SUCOL student/alumni” will receive an positive response from any alumni, he said. The job-searching process can be stressful, he noted, but College of Law students should not be worried. “If you went to Syracuse and you graduated from SUCOL you will get a job, from my experience.” 

As a law student, Carbone was heavily involved in the Student Bar Association, eventually becoming SBA president during his 3L year. As an SBA member Carbone was able to set policy, vote on College of Law issues, and network. This confirmed to him that he wanted to work in policy and the government after graduation. During his 2L summer, Carbone worked as a summer associate at EY’s Office of Public Policy in Washington, DC. A few months into his 3L year, a full-time position opened up—and he got the job. 

Cody Carbone’s career provides students with an example of how a College of Law degree can advantage a graduate in any career. Although he is not representing clients at EY, Carbone nevertheless is interpreting complex laws and negotiating with Washington, DC, “politicos”—a job he is extremely well prepared for as a joint Syracuse Law/Maxwell School alumnus.