Q&A with Allison
What do you currently do?
The Antitrust Division is divided into sections, each dealing with a different mix of product markets. Because of what my section covers, most of my cases have been in healthcare.
As a paralegal supervisor, I both manage paralegals in my section and do casework myself. A large portion of our paralegals' responsibilities include examining the internal documents and communications of a company to determine if there is any evidence of a violation. In the early phases of an investigation, attorneys will interview companies involved with the industry to get a sense of whether the proposed merger or conduct is a violation. Paralegals sit in on these interviews and write a memo summarizing the interview. When a case continues in the investigation phase, a paralegal will help an attorney prepare to take a deposition, compiling the exhibits, doing research, and attending the deposition. Finally, if a case gets to the final stages and is still deemed an antitrust violation, paralegals help research and edit documents such as a recommendation to sue.
What was your first position out of Colgate and what did you do in that role?
My first position was with a boutique public relations firm in New York City (I can credit Colgate with leading me to this position, as it was posted on our internal job website!). I had a wide variety of tasks, including contacting media outlets to pitch news stories about our clients, posting stories on the firm's website, writing short stories to pitch, and even getting coffee. Since the firm was smaller, I was able to see all aspects of the PR process.
How can students prepare themselves while at Colgate to work in your field?
Students should take every opportunity to learn how to write well while at Colgate. In each position I have had, I was given more responsibility and more interesting projects after I proved myself as an articulate and efficient writer. While legal writing can have specific parameters, the basics are the same as any style of writing. Therefore, take every opportunity to get feedback on your writing at school. No matter what field or career you enter, polished writing stands out.
What extracurricular activities, associated with your profession or not, were you involved with while at Colgate?
While at Colgate, I was a member of Charred Goosebeak. Not only did I make some of my closest friends in the improv group, but becoming comfortable with improvisation has been very transferrable to the workplace. For students, I suggest joining any extracurricular activity they find fun--college allows you to easily explore a wide variety of activities and fields, so use every opportunity to find your interests (and remember, even determining what doesn't interest you is helpful).