New York, January 22, 2014—Building upon extensive programs designed to encourage graduates to consider careers in government, Columbia Law School and Columbia Business School hosted officials from the U.S. Department of the Treasury at the Columbia Club on Jan. 15 for an evening discussion with law and finance alumni interested in public service. Treasury’s Mary John Miller, Under Secretary for Domestic Finance, delivered a keynote address highlighting opportunities in government.
The event provided a rare opportunity for graduates to talk directly with policymakers about careers at the Treasury Department, and is just one example of Columbia Law School’s commitment to connecting its community to opportunities in public service. During their time at the Law School, for instance, students can participate in the Externship on the Federal Government in Washington, D.C., studying and living in the capital while working in federal offices ranging from the White House to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Last month, students working in the Law School’s Mass Incarceration Clinic helped overturn a wrongful double-murder conviction after a four-year battle in the federal courts. And last fall, the New York Timeshighlighted how Columbia Law students interning with the Bronx Defenders are providing critical legal services to the indigent.
Columbia Law School Dean David M. Schizer, the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law and the Harvey R. Miller Professor of Law and Economics, began the evening by sharing his perspective on why law and finance professionals who have been successful in the private sector should consider public service.
“There are two reasons people choose to work in government,” Schizer said. “The first is patriotism—how often in history has there been such a great nation built upon the rule of law? The second is the experience you get working on the most important problems of our time.”
Dean David M. Schizer and the Treasury Department's Under Secretary for Domestic Finance Mary John Miller
Dean Schizer introduced Under Secretary Miller, who joined the Treasury Department after a long private-sector career in asset management. Miller spoke about the benefits of working at Treasury.
“If you are interested in policymaking, there is really no better place to apply the financial and legal skills you have honed in the private sector than at the Treasury Department,” Miller said. “You will not only have a front-row seat during major policy discussions but your financial and legal analysis will, in fact, help shape the debates. Your ‘client’ is your country and the American people. And, rest assured, the results of our efforts are evident on the front pages of the newspaper or on the evening news almost every day.”
Columbia Law School Professor Robert J. Jackson Jr., who served at the department during the financial crisis, moderated a panel discussion with senior policymakers and legal advisors at Treasury. The panel featured James Clark, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Federal Finance; Eric Froman, a Columbia Law School graduate and Deputy Assistant General Counsel for the Financial Stability Oversight Council; Monique Rollins, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Capital Markets; and Katheryn Rosen, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Policy.
Columbia Law School Professor Robert J. Jackson Jr. and members of the panel discussion.
Froman described how he found his way to Treasury after working in the private sector—and why successful law and finance professionals should consider similar paths.
“After Dodd-Frank was enacted, I found myself working on the law from one perspective: that of my law firm and its clients,” Froman said. “So I switched sides and joined the Treasury to help make sure that Dodd-Frank was implemented consistent with the needs of the U.S. economy. Our job is to give regulators a view of the whole financial system—not just the narrow perspective that private-sector work often demands.”
Audience members take in advice and information from the panelists at the Treasury Department event.
Before speakers and attendees moved to a reception to continue their discussion in a less formal setting, Jackson offered concluding remarks.
“If you’ve been successful in finance or law here in New York, you have critical talents that the government needs now more than ever,” he said, urging alumni to consider entering public service. “Columbia has a long and proud history of public service and training the top law and finance professionals in the world. We hope that you’ll join the growing group of Columbia graduates who are helping our government build the stable and sound financial system that Americans deserve.”
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