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Elizabeth Broomfield

Legal Engineer

By Joy Y. Wang

Summer 2011

As an electrical engineering major in college, Elizabeth Broomfield ’11 studied nanotechnology and space policy. Three years and countless hours of study later, Broomfield is drafting a master’s thesis on capital control regulation to complete the Law School’s J.D./LL.M. program.

While molecular manipulation and monetary policy may seem widely disparate, the Long Island native notes that both subjects require an analytical perspective and attention to detail. “I’ve always wanted to understand how things work; that’s my engineer’s mind,” says Broomfield, who spent her third year of Law School studying overseas as part of the J.D./LL.M. London Program at the London School of Economics. “When it comes to finance law, even when a little thing changes, billions of dollars are at stake. A single word can make a huge difference.”

During her two years of legal study in Morningside Heights, Broomfield served as president of the Columbia Business and Law Association. Under her leadership, the association hosted an array of influential speakers, including the White House’s former special master for compensation, Kenneth Feinberg, and Goldman Sachs Executive Vice President Esta Stecher ’82—towering figures who regularly define the borders of business law and finance. “This is a really interesting time to be studying these issues,” Broomfield says. “So much is changing.”

Broomfield, a James Kent Scholar, divided her time abroad between classes, traveling, and work as a part-time law clerk at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton’s London office. She previously assisted on investment and financial regulation projects for the firm as a summer associate and will begin working full time in Cleary’s New York City office this fall.

Photographed by David Yellen