The Multi-Task Master
Political Science alum and corporate attorney Ari Lustig’s dizzyingly accomplished young career
Over the fall of 2005 and spring of 2006, LCM Political Science alum Ari Lustig interned in the office of then-New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Seven years later, he still culls inspiration from those whirlwind six months. “Not anything having to do with her politics,” he explains. “The one thing that always struck me was how Senator Clinton was always on top of her game. She always seemed to have an intense awareness of what was going on. Even though I worked in New York and she was primarily based in Washington, it was interesting to see—when she’d visit the New York office—how she had her finger on the pulse. I really admired that, and it’s something I think about a lot. I try to emulate that model.”
One look at his accumulated experiences within and outside of academia suggests that Lustig—who’s currently a practicing corporate and securities attorney with international lawfirm Greenberg Traurig, LLP—has acquitted himself quite well. After earning his B.A. at Touro in 2006, the New Jersey native earned both his J.D. and Masters of Public Administration from UPenn. During those four years at the prestigious Ivy League institution, Lustig completed internships, assistant positions and fellowships not only with Senator Clinton, but for the House Oversight Committee in Congress, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and several other judicial and legislative offices. Funny thing is, if you encountered Lustig one decade prior, he was en route to a career crunching numbers.
“When I first enrolled [at Lander], I remember feeling a lot of anxiety, because I didn’t know exactly what to study,” he recalls. “I thought I’d be an accounting major, but maybe a week or so into school, I attended a panel discussion with professors from each department, and the one who was representing the Political Science department was just really interesting, so I figured I’d sign up for a class. Law was an outgrowth of that experience.” Part and parcel, he adds, “Grad school was more of gradual decision rather than an, ‘A-ha, this is what I want to do’ kind of thing.”
Lustig recognizes that some people have a clearer sense of where their passions lie than others, but his myriad experiences also reinforced that being a jack-of-all-trades is important in nearly all occupations.
“Even for the students who do know what they want to do, I think college is the time to explore and try out different things,” he advises. “One of the regrets I have is finishing my undergrad degree relatively quickly. If I could go back and do it again, I’d probably take classes in other fields. The work environment today is interdisciplinary. Skills that aren’t directly related to any specific profession are still relevant. I’m a corporate attorney, [so] it would have been helpful if I took more finance classes. Good writing is the foundation of good lawyering, [so] I would have taken more writing classes. Even the students who know what they what to do, I still say it’s worth it just to take the time to get a good, broad education, something you can definitely do at Touro.”