Jenna Goldin '11, Legal Success without Law School
Alumna Jenna Goldin '11 spoke virtually to nearly 20 students and faculty about how her time in Binghamton helped her to attain her role as a legal investigator in a prestigious securities class action law firm as part of the Cool Connections/Hot Alumni speaker series.
Currently working as an investigator at Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman LLP, Goldin conducts interviews with potential witnesses to obtain information relevant to possible or ongoing cases.
Several previous employers observed Goldin's legal inclination and tried to steer her towards law school, but she maintained that it was not the path for her. "Law school isn't the only way to work in law," said Goldin, "which is something I learned the hard way." She credits her time at Binghamton as inspiring her career path and giving her the skills she needed.
Previously serving in the student government as Executive Vice President of the Student Association, Goldin became a strong public speaker advocating for student groups, and even learned how to conduct job interviews when hiring for SA businesses. She said the independence of students in campus organizations facilitates professional development.
"Binghamton is really unique--I've never heard of any other campus giving students so much autonomy."
Goldin double majored in linguistics and comparative literature, interested in using her analytical language skills to pursue a career in the legal field. Upon graduating, Goldin entered a master's program in Forensic Linguistics at Hofstra University, favoring this career path to law school.
Unique to Hofstra, this program combined researching and analyzing information about cases, Goldin's favorite elements of law. Her thesis for this program focused on the possibility of determining an unknown writer's gender through the use of corpus linguistics and sociolinguistics.
As a graduate student, she interned at the Civilian Complaint Review Board. Along with other interns, she helped educate youth groups throughout New York City about how to deescalate police encounters. This internship helped her develop a strong foundational legal knowledge.
Goldin's first legal position following her graduate program was in due diligence investigating, where she learned how to conduct thorough searches using various public databases. She then found herself working as a legal assistant in a medical malpractice defense firm. This position served as a bridge and helped her learn skills and make necessary connections to achieve her career goals.
"It turned out to be really good," said Goldin, "because it prepared me for the work I do now." While Goldin took some time to find her footing in her career, she is happy with the job she has now. To have similar career success, she recommended that students stay organized, attend class to build "internal discipline", and make connections everywhere they go. "If I hadn't...made these connections, I wouldn't be where I am now."