Westmont Magazine Starting a New Career at an Old Firm
In 2004, Sharon McGee Rose ’89 stepped down as a partner of Trinity Financial Partners to go to law school. She’d already earned a master’s degree in business administration from Claremont Graduate University and spent 15 years in the financial services arena. “I felt the Lord calling me down a different path,” she says. A knack for legalese and an interest in securities law, constitutional issues and government policy inspired her decision.
“I prayed about it, took the LSAT and enrolled in UC Davis School of Law,” she says.“Law school forced me out of my comfort zone. At Trinity, the partners and most of the employees were Christians. The secular law school environment stretched my faith in new ways.”
A summer associate position with one of the oldest law firms in the country, Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft LLP, led to a full-time job there, and Sharon moved to Washington, D.C., in 2007. She focuses on litigation in the areas of securities regulation and business fraud. Her business background and expertise in securities compliance helps in her current work, representing companies and individuals in matters before the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice. Keeping up with new laws like the Dodd-Frank Act allows her to advise clients on complying with the changes implemented since the 2008 economic crisis.
The recent economic turmoil highlights the need for greater emphasis on ethics in both business and government, Sharon notes. “Government regulation, which forms an integral part of our society, and world, is best implemented by individuals with strong moral principles.”
That’s one reason Sharon thinks Westmont’s mission is important. “Believers need to integrate into every level of society as strong moral leaders,” she says. “As a Christian lawyer, I work to be ethical and excellent in everything I do and represent clients to the best of my ability. We need to give students the best possible credentials so they are well equipped to go into the marketplace, succeed and lead.” Sharon will serve as a Westmont trustee beginning in October.
Washington fascinated Sharon when she attended the National Prayer Breakfast with the Leadership Development Program as a student. “Here is history in living color,” she says. “On my daily commute, I drive by the Capitol, the White House and the National Archives, which houses our founding documents.”
Sharon majored in economics and business and participated in the International Business Institute, a summer-long program in European business capitals. Today, she travels internationally representing public companies in investigations related to securities violations and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. “I benefitted from Westmont’s small community and focus on Christian growth,” she says. “Close friendships with classmates and relationships with professors and administrators continue to this day. I appreciated professors’ attentiveness and superior instruction.”
A year after graduating from Westmont, Sharon married her high school sweetheart. Before their first anniversary, he was diagnosed with cancer and soon passed away. “Those first few years after his death were rough,” Sharon says. “God is faithful and promises to uphold us during difficult times, which he did in profound ways, surrounding me with caring family and friends.”