PUBLISHED:April 22, 2011

Sheena Paul '10

Sheena Paul ’10Sheena Paul ’10
Associate, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, New York City

While at Duke Law, Sheena Paul participated in Vis Moot Court and served on the boards of the Duke Journal for Comparative and International Law, International Law Society, the Business Law Society, and the Public Interest Law Foundation.

How did you obtain your position at Skadden?
I obtained this position through OCI during my 2L fall.

Describe your work/practice area.
I am in the corporate rotation at Skadden, which is a two-year program. I will spend my first year in Corporate Restructuring, and my second year in Project Finance. After two years, I will join one of the two practice groups.

What part of your legal education at Duke best prepared you for practice?
This is a tough question because I honestly feel that the Duke Law experience as a whole best prepared me for practice. In many ways, the practice of law differs greatly from what is required in law school. The single most important thread between success in studying the law and success in practicing the law, however, is the ability to think like a lawyer -- to read with precision, to be able to identify nuances, to think creatively, to understand complex ideas, and to craft clear and convincing arguments. The Duke Law experience definitely taught me to think like a lawyer -- the best preparation for the practice of law I think that there is.

What advice would you give Duke Law students who want to work at a major law firm?
First, I would encourage students to think about why it is they want to work at a major law firm, and how the major law firm experience fits into their goals for their law practice. Second, I would tell the student to do their homework -- not all major law firms are made alike! Third, I would of course say to study hard and get involved in activities that enhance your education outside of the classroom.

What is your favorite thing about living in New York?
From a professional standpoint, my favorite thing about practicing in New York is the sophistication and complexity of the business that is conducted here. It is incredibly exciting and there is always something new to learn. From a personal standpoint, my favorite things about living New York are the endless opportunities to grow as a person, to experience new things and to meet interesting people. This city is a hotbed for passionate, talented, and driven young people, and a great place to start your career!