A Semester at the SEC

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Katie Duquette with Chairwoman of the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, Mary Jo White

The externship program at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law offers students like Katie Duquette ’16—an undergraduate finance major with an interest in securities law and government policy—the opportunity to pursue their dream placements. Duquette spent the fall 2015 semester working at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Washington, D.C., her second externship with the organization.

“Engaging in a full time externship allowed me to foster connections with attorneys at the SEC and around the world, that I plan to maintain for years to come,” said Duquette. “It allowed me to thoroughly explore securities law prior to graduation, and now, I feel more confident about the area of law I ultimately want to practice.”

In D.C., Duquette worked in the Division of Corporate Finance, where she was exposed to a variety of projects and assignments. Her primary responsibilities were to ensure sales literature complied with the Securities Act of 1933 and the Corporate Finance Disclosure Guidelines; review 10-K filings, registration statements and corporate responses to SEC comment letters; and keep the team apprised of recent IRS, FINRA and NYSE changes.

The highlight of her externship was a week spent at the SEC International Enforcement and Market Oversight Institute.

“At the International Institute, I met and connected with attorneys from all over the world who practice securities enforcement in their respective countries,” she said. “I watched the SEC Commissioners discuss and vote on several rules changes, including crowdfunding rules, which was the last set of rules to complete the implementation for the Dodd-Frank Act.”

Duquette first worked at the SEC in spring 2015 as an intern at the Philadelphia Regional Office with the Division of Enforcement.

“My original plan was to go to the Washington Office in the spring instead of Philadelphia; however, I wanted to take a Securities Regulation course prior to working at the headquarters,” she said. “Waiting and taking that class made a world of difference in my understanding of securities law and ultimate success during my second externship in Washington, D.C.”

In 2014-15, Villanova Law placed students in more than 200 externships—including with nonprofit organizations, government agencies, law firms and multinational corporations—allowing them to expand beyond the region and across all areas of law so that they can focus on where and what they want to learn most.

To find out more about Villanova Law’s externship program, click here