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Criminal justice alumna pursues paralegal dream

Alyza Roman (’18) is making her mark as a paralegal at the New York District Attorney’s Office.

Photo courtesy of Alyza Roman

When Roman graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in psychology, she said that the career path following college wasn’t always clear to her.

“I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do after I graduated career-wise, but I narrowed down my focus and spent about a month applying to victim advocacy, investigator and paralegal positions online,” she said.

After she graduated, she was contacted by the New York District Attorney’s Office. After three rounds of interviews, court tours and having her references contacted, Roman was offered a job as a paralegal.

Roman said she knew the position would be right for her. “I suppose years of watching others suffer from broken policies instilled onto them by systems of power, and the want to influence these policies and help others was a big inspiration,” she said. “I wanted more insight on the field, so I applied for paralegal positions.”

Roman now spends her days in the courtroom, performing various tasks to help the legal process run smoothly. She considers herself the “support staff for the courtroom.”

“Monday, Tuesday, Friday, I am on-call for sit in court duties, but my set priorities for these days are to work on both Supreme Court and/or criminal court cases that did not have a paralegal from case management sitting in, during court proceedings,” she explained.

The rest of the weekdays she remains in court, doing live data entry of the court proceedings and contacting Assistant District Attorneys to send missing cases to the specific court.

Roman said the conversations she had with her professors had a huge impact on her choice of career. She said talking to professors about their experiences in their own fields was more valuable to her than lessons learned in the classroom.

Cherubim Quizon, an associate professor in the department of sociology, anthropology and social work, recalled when Roman was a student on campus.

“She was an excellent writer, critical thinker and, based on one of our more recent conversations, a passionate advocate for her education as a criminal justice graduate,” Quizon said.

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Susan Nolan, a professor in the psychology department, said that Roman’s success isn’t a surprise to her. “Alyza is the kind of student that every professor is happy to have in class,” Nolan said. “She’s smart, friendly, and curious, and she frequently makes thoughtful contributions to in-class discussions or on her assignments.”

Roman offered words of advice to students who haven’t graduated yet.
“As anxiety-inducing as it is, we’re all on such a long and tedious journey.

It’s okay not to know where things will take you or where you want to go,” she said. “Be mindful of others and surround yourself with good people, and things will fall into place.”

Roman said she wants students to know that anything is possible only if they are willing to “endure, adapt and overcome” the obstacles in their path.

Dalton Allison can be reached at


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