News

July 16, 2009

In the Think of Legal Action

Trial experience helps prepare Dana Gambro ’07 for leap to law school

Being amidst courtroom action during a trial isn’t a typical experience for a paralegal. But Dana Gambro ’07, a paralegal with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP in New York City, stood out from the crowd and worked closely with attorneys at trial.

She was head paralegal for her team in a major trial involving a partnership dispute within a very large and successful hedge fund.

“I went to trial, which is kind of a rarity for a paralegal,” she explains. “It’s really something I’m proud of. The Paul Weiss team was arguing the case in the Delaware Chancery Court, so I spent about three weeks in Delaware organizing materials for court and being on call for the attorneys in case anything came up, which at 3 a.m. something often did.”

Attorneys needed her to organize documents and prepare materials on short notice.

“While it’s a highly stressful situation to be in, it was at these times that a project would be revamped and made stronger and more successful,” says Gambro, who will begin classes at Tulane University School of Law this fall. “During this experience, I learned a lot about the litigation process and what truly goes into preparing a successful argument. We ultimately won our case on all counts, although the plaintiff is now appealing.”

She believes working so closely with attorneys in a fast-paced environment helped prepare her for a future in the court room.

“The people I’ve talked to helped me gauge what law school has taught them,” she says. “I ask the attorneys what helped them get to where they are now. That’s the benefit of working with attorneys—getting advice on what you strive to be.”

New York City also presents a wealth of networking opportunities.

“People know about Lafayette and there are so many contacts. It’s easy to get a job or find someone with experience in what you’re interested in,” she says. “There’s such a wide variety that no one would feel lost.”

The art and anthropology & sociology graduate took advantage of what Lafayette had to offer as a small, liberal arts college. Gambro studied abroad in London, serving an internship at the Royal Academy of the Arts, and various museum internships in New Jersey.

“Lafayette helped me prepare for various projects. Having had such close relationships with professors, I feel comfortable asking questions to clarify things,” she says. “When I have performance evaluations, I’m always rated high on my willingness to ask questions.”

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