News

August 10, 2007

In My Own Words: Scott Spitzer ’73 Finds Legal Intern “An Absolute Delight”

Kimberly Sialiano ’09 spent month with in-house legal department at world’s largest financial printer

by Scott Spitzer ’73

Scott Spitzer ’73 is senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary of Bowne & Co., Inc., the world’s largest financial printer and major financial communications provider and the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. With more than 3,000 employees and operations in more than 60 locations worldwide, including major financial centers in North America, Europe, and Asia, Bowne has annual sales of approximately $900 million.

New York, N.Y., July 25, 2007 – Friday is the last day of Kim’s internship with my company.

Kimberly Sialiano ’09 [a double major in government & law & foreign language and international affairs] has been with us for a month and has had hands-on experience in several diverse areas of our legal practice, broader than we first envisioned. She has been an absolute delight. She is smart and quick on the uptake. Her outgoing, positive personality has impressed those in the company who have met her.

Kim has done a good job on the specific projects I asked her to handle (i.e., corporate secretarial housekeeping, customer contract review, and employment law issues) and, importantly, she has asked many good questions to really understand the complexities. She performed several tasks handled by our in-house legal department, including corporate secretarial housekeeping tasks as well as analysis of commercial contracts for marketing and business communication services with Bowne’s major institutional clients. She also updated our online corporate secretary database. The database contains key organization information on each of our large number of corporate affiliates, including operating subsidiaries, partnerships, and joint ventures. She then prepared original, annual unanimous consents for adoption by the boards of directors and shareholders of each of the corporate affiliates.

Updating corporate secretarial records and preparing annual documentation are important tasks for mid-size to large-size corporate law departments. It is an excellent introduction to learn how and why a complex corporation is organized the way it is, as well as its historical evolution.

Kim then reviewed and prepared an analysis of a large number of institutional client account agreements. She worked with me to better appreciate how a lawyer approaches and interprets commercial contract provisions that are often complex and interrelated. She also had the opportunity to meet corporate personnel and attend various internal staff meetings, including a presentation I gave on employment law issues to an offsite meeting of Bowne’s worldwide human resource staff. Kim also attended a mediation with the company’s inside and outside counsel before the State of New Jersey’s Division of Civil Rights involving an employee discrimination claim.

All in all, this was the first time we had a summer intern (as opposed to externships, which we have had for several years), and it has been a success. Her work was important and helpful to us, and she did a great job. I wanted her to gain three different learning experiences: first, what it is like to work inside a major corporation; second, what it is like to work for an in-house legal department and the diverse types of tasks it handles, and third, what it is like to think and analyze like a lawyer.

Kim is a member of the same sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, as our externship student last January, Leigh Anne Alexander [’07], who also had a successful experience with us (and, as I just learned this afternoon, they apparently know each other). Kim is considering a number of options for a career after Lafayette. I believe she is more interested now in going to law school and practicing law than prior to the internship. I told her I would be happy to provide a recommendation to her for law school or other endeavors she decides to pursue in the future.

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