A path to a career in law

A native of Whitehall, N.Y., Shelby Cuomo '13 discovered Union when her high school English teacher, Karen (LeClair) Short ’01, brought a group of students to Schenectady for a tour.

Shelby Cuomo '13

“I fell in love with the campus right away. My close friend, Ceillie Clark-Keane ’13, did as well, so we both ended up at Union. Our high school was very small, so I appreciated the first-year class sizes of 12 with students selecting their course topic preferences over the summer. That really provided a personalized introduction to college life.”

Now based in New York City, Shelby is Lead Counsel, Special Investigations, at Meta Platforms, Inc., the global social media and technology company that owns Facebook and Instagram, and serves over 3 billion users. Before that, she was an associate at the international law firm Ropes & Gray LLP in their Government Enforcement practice group. In these roles, it’s her job to represent her clients in governmental inquiries and to oversee internal legal matters.

“Part of what makes investigations work interesting is that it’s like solving a puzzle. We have to figure out all the facts to put the pieces together and figure out what happened,” she explained. “I like the challenge and the problem-solving nature of the work.”

Shelby’s path to a law career began before Union.

“I interned for a judge as a senior in high school, but when I got to Union, I participated in the Washington, D.C. term and worked on the Hill. I majored in political science and classics, and I took a pre-law course with Professor Bradley Hays. He helped me decide that law school was the right choice for me.”

Through Union, Shelby gained the confidence and the analytical skills to be successful during her time at The George Washington University Law School.

“The intimate environment at Union helped me build my self-confidence. I began to feel confident enough to speak in class, I performed very well and I was never pigeonholed. Union gives you the chance to explore what really interests you, and you have the opportunity to grow and learn from different experiences.”

Shelby moved to New York City in 2016.

“I love this city that never sleeps. I have a Union contingent here that I see frequently, and it has been especially great to be here now that the world has opened back up. I also appreciate that I can still visit family because I’m within driving distance of home.”

During those trips home, she never misses an opportunity to stop in Schenectady to take a photo of the Nott.

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