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From Law to Corporate Compliance


Sonya Fox '84
Sonya Fox '84

I was fortunate to graduate from Hamilton in the mid ’80’s when the economy was booming. Wall Street was setting record highs and large salaries and bonuses were fueling a robust economy in New York City and throughout the country.

By graduation in May 1984, I had accepted a job as a paralegal at Davis, Polk and Wardwell in downtown Manhattan. I highly recommend working as a paralegal at a large law firm like Davis Polk. It teaches attention to detail, how to meet important deadlines and exposes a new college graduate to the pace of a five-day work week.

After one year at Davis Polk, I moved to Boston to attend Boston University School of Law. I graduated from law school in 1988 and moved back to New York City. I worked for a Wall Street law firm for over five years before moving to several other law firms in New York. In addition to working at several law firms, I have had my own solo law practice. From April 2001 to April 2012, I stopped working to raise my two children. I went back to Fordham Law School in January, 2016 to obtain my LLM (Masters of Law degree) in Corporate Compliance. I am now taking my last class for the LLM degree and I hope to get a compliance job in the financial industry this Spring.

alumni career advice

Hamilton has a long history of connecting students with alumni and parents whose advice, expertise, and resources help talented young people achieve success for themselves and in their communities.

more from alumni in Government & Law

Corporate Compliance is a huge area of potential jobs for college graduates. There are a plethora of jobs available in New York City and elsewhere in compliance. Many jobs do not require a law degree. Compliance jobs are generally available in the financial industry and the healthcare industry. The financial industry, based primarily in New York City, offers many job opportunities in the compliance field. After 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis, Congress passed several laws, including the U.S. Patriot Act and the Dodd-Frank Act, which require financial institutions to maintain robust compliance departments in order to comply with laws and regulations. For this reason, compliance jobs at financial institutions have proliferated exponentially in the past 17 years.


Sonya (Brouner) Fox ’84 graduated from Hamilton College with a major in government and a minor in Russian studies. After graduating from Hamilton, Sonya worked as a paralegal at Davis, Polk and Wardwell in New York City. She then attended Boston University Law School to pursue a Juris Doctorate degree. Sonya spent many years as a lawyer and has now transitioned her career into a financial direction. She is now completing a Masters of Law degree in Corporate Compliance.

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