Alumni and Careers

This is what some of our government and legal studies alumni are doing now with their Bowdoin degrees.
Alumni Profile of Rohini Kurup, Class of 2020

Rohini Kurup ’20

Major(s): Government and Legal Studies

Minor: History

Location: Washington, DC

Most memorable Government and Legal Studies Class: Shakespeare and Politics

"My classes were interesting and relevant, and the wonderful professors in the department pushed me to think and write in new ways. Through my coursework, and particularly in pursuing an honors project, I began to understand the power of law and public policy and how I could use them to create positive change."

What have you bee up to since graduating from Bowdoin?

Since graduating, I have worked as a research analyst at the Brookings Institution where I’m an associate editor of Lawfare, an online national security legal publication based out of Brookings. My job involves editing legal commentary and analysis articles written by law professors, current and former government officials, and other national security practitioners to publish on Lawfare. I also write articles, produce a narrative podcast series, and oversee and curate a library of primary source material related to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. After spending the past two years at Lawfare, I’ll soon be starting law school. 

Why Government and Legal Studies?

I entered Bowdoin interested in government, but after taking a great first-year seminar and other classes in the Government and Legal Studies department, and getting to know the faculty, I was certain that I wanted to major in Gov. I was drawn to studying Government and Legal Studies as a way to understand the world around me: everything from democracy to war, law to political behavior, as well as the institutions that shape them. The department at Bowdoin offers great breadth and depth in the field, which allowed me to take an array of classes while concentrating in American Politics. My classes were interesting and relevant, and the wonderful professors in the department pushed me to think and write in new ways. Through my coursework, and particularly in pursuing an honors project, I began to understand the power of law and public policy and how I could use them to create positive change. My Government and Legal studies classes at Bowdoin helped me build a vocabulary to talk about challenges we face and issues I care about, and they gave me a set of tools to address them.

Victoria (Wirunwan) Pitakton 17'

Victoria (Wirunwan) Pitakton

Class of: 2017

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Taking advantage of a liberal arts education has been the most rewarding decision I have ever made.

What is your current job (position) and what do you do specifically?

I am a researcher (officially called urban researcher) at an organization called Urban Design and Development Center in Bangkok, Thailand. It is a small organization of about fifteen people that deals with urban development, urban planning, and urban governance, and aims to be an agent that connects the public, private, and civil sectors to promote an inclusive urban development.

The organization handles several projects, but I am on a team that is responsible for one that is pushing for the Open Data project, co-funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. So my day-to-day job is to research about how open data (the disclosure of information without any restriction) can help with urban issues in this digital age and the role of governance in urban development and its potential uneven vulnerabilities.

Aside from research, I also write articles to publicize about the project to the general public. It has really been quite interesting because not only do I get to learn things every day, I also get to interact with people of various expertise like urban architects, graphic designers, sociologists, etc.

What are your fond memories of the department, including courses or experiences?

There are really so many. One of my fondest memories is definitely the discussions in Professor Laura Henry's Social Movement and Political Change because I get to learn about what others have sacrificed in the past, and what has been happening through an academic lens. Each person had to write a semester-long paper, and to me what each peer chooses to do as their project is very fascinating as it definitely reflects their passion.

Another fond memory is my time in Professor Ericka Albaugh's Politics of Development class. Coming from Thailand, a third world country, the topic of development is very personal and I had all these aspirations and ideals about the topic before going into the class. I think it definitely gave me a realistic perspective on how the politics comes in to play. Of course it was hard to learn that even the best of good intentions can have unintended consequences, but I think it was a necessary awakening.

What advice would you have for current Gov majors in thinking about life after Bowdoin?

Do not be afraid to explore different fields, both within the department and outside. Taking advantage of that liberal arts education has been the most rewarding decision I have ever made, and I appreciate it even more after Bowdoin. My work involves researching and learning about different fields, and being able to incorporate them has been very valuable.

Alumni Profile of David Levine, Class of 2016

David Levine ’16

Major (s): Government and Legal Studies

Minor: History

Location: Houston, Texas

Most memorable government and legal studies class: Constitutional Law with George Isaacson

"Hearing my grandmother's stories and seeing how she used law to make a really helpful difference was always super inspiring to me."

What have you been up to since graduating from Bowdoin?

Right after Bowdoin, I took a gap year to get my law school applications done.  I was namely preparing for the LSAT and then I interned for the Governor's office in Pennsylvania, where I'm from. Then, I went to Stanford Law School, and after that and quarantine, I worked at a law firm called Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw. Currently, I'm finishing up the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals with Judge Carolyn King, and then I'm going to be going to Washington, DC to work for Wilmer Hale.

Why government and legal studies?

I came to Bowdoin thinking that the law was what I wanted to do, and a lot of that came from my grandmother. She was based in Massachusetts and defended plaintifs who were exposed to asbestos on ships. She was one of the pioneers of  of figuring out the connection between asbestos and cancer and asbestosis. Hearing her stories and seeing how she used law to make a really helpful difference was always super inspiring to me, and so that was a big animating factor. I also appreciated that Bowdoin's department was one for government and legal studies—I think it was really great to be able to major in both and to really get insight into what law school would be like.

Alain Mathieu ’12

Alain Mathieu

Class of: 2012

Location: Boston, MA

I am an associate attorney at Mintz Levin, a large Boston-based law firm.

What is your current job and what do you do specifically?

I am an associate attorney at Mintz Levin, a large Boston-based law firm, the role offers me the opportunity to do some very interesting work alongside incredibly smart, talented, and wonderful people (including some great Bowdoin alumni). I am in the firms litigation section, where I work on a wide variety of matters involving public and private companies across a number of industries.

Another very special part of my job is the opportunity to help people through our robust pro bono practice. From the start of my time at the firm, I've been able to lend my voice and my skills to those who are unrepresented or underrepresented in our legal system and society.

I am a recent graduate of Boston College Law School, where I spent a fantastic three years. While at BC, I served as a teaching assistant in criminal law, a summer law clerk at a legal advocacy organization called Free Speech for People, a summer associate here at Mintz Levin, and a judicial intern for the Honorable Gregory C. Flynn in the Waltham District Court and District Court Appellate Division. I was also a member of BC's admissions committee and vice president of the BC Law Democrats.

What do you remember as fond memories of the Government Department, including courses or experiences?

I am of the strong belief that Bowdoin’s government professors are some of the very best in the country. At Bowdoin, I concentrated in American government, with an eye towards building a curriculum that would prepare me for law school. I took enough courses in the government department to have majored in it twice, simply because I truly enjoyed learning from the brilliant minds of Bowdoin’s professors. In particular, I took every class that Professor Morgan and Professor Franz taught while I was there. Some of my favorites included Law and Society, Constitutional Law, Campaigns and Elections, and Money and Politics. I also enjoyed working closely with Prof. Franz on an independent study during my junior year, and with Prof. Morgan on my honors project during my senior year. In addition, I also learned a great deal from Professors Potholm, Springer, Martin, and Yarborough. Finally, arguably the best part of the government department is its gem, Lynne Atkinson, who is a great friend and pleasure to spend time around. I don’t know if I would have made it to graduation without her!

What advice would you have for current Gov majors in thinking about life after Bowdoin?

My biggest piece of advice for current government majors (and all Bowdoin students for that matter) is to engage with, and lean on, Bowdoin’s vast alumni network. The Bowdoin community is a special one, and you will undoubtedly find that Bowdoin alumni are very willing to help you with advice, internship/job opportunities, etc. Bowdoin alumni have played a huge role in my career growth; Joe Curtin ’84 and Emmett Lyne ’86 have both been instrumental mentors for me, and were a big part of my decision to move to (and stay in) Boston to practice law. In addition, develop good relationships with your Bowdoin professors and the Career Planning office.