Updated: Jul 13, 2021
Washington, D.C. - Attorney and Armenian Assembly of America Internship alumna Zarema Arutyunova Jaramillo, Esq., spoke in a virtual forum on Thursday, Thursday, July 8, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
Zarema, a Partner in the Antitrust Practice Group of Lowenstein Sandler LLP, is Managing Partner of the Firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Zarema shared the background of her professional path to becoming an attorney in the nation's capital after working as a career government official, following her internship as part of the Assembly's summer 2000 internship program. After completing her internship at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Zarema was offered a full-time position as a trade specialist for the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration in the Office of China. She decided to defer her admission to law school and spent the year "learning everything about bilateral and multilateral trade relations" and traveled extensively with U.S. Government diplomatic missions to China, which had just joined the World Trade Organization. "The experience I was getting was really unique because I was becoming a career diplomat and receiving hands-on experience," said Zarema, who enrolled in law school courses in the evenings at American University while continuing her government career in the Office of China, and later as the Acting Director of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Corporate Governance Program in the Office of Russia. Zarema decided to make a move to the private sector after law school and joined the London-based "Magic Circle" law firm Clifford Chance. While at Clifford Chance, Zarema worked on several high-profile international arbitration matters and U.S. sanctions-related investigations by the U.S. Department of Treasury. She later moved to another international law firm to pivot her practice to antitrust work, including government investigations, complex civil litigation, and merger-related antitrust regulatory clearances. "A lot of our clients are in the tech space, including start-ups and growth companies, as well as in the life sciences and financial services industries," she said. Zarema cited Facebook as an example of how the government is focusing on consolidation and acquisitions in the technology sector and the heightened scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission on how these transactions may impact U.S. consumers. She highlighted the importance of networking and how it's even more important today, with the rise of social media. She noted the importance for recent or soon-to-be graduates of devoting time to build a LinkedIn profile and to connect with people, noting that she would not be where she is today without the support from the relationships she has established and maintained. Answering questions from participants, Zarema distinguished working in government from the private sector and how each can bring value in terms of knowledge and hands-on experience. "In government, you receive training and high-level responsibilities that you may not get in private sector right away," said Zarema. "I always recommend if you have an opportunity to work in government, especially if you're considering a legal career, get that experience from any government regulatory agency, such as the Department of Justice, and then go to the private sector." Zarema emphasized that serving as a government employee is a way to "fast-track your career because you have the training, exposure, and experience that others at a junior level may not have." She remarked that there are upsides to both sectors, including the wealth of resources and top-notch training in the private sector, but when considering a legal career, working in the government or clerking for a judge is "very valuable to law firms." She encouraged students in particular to travel and to read in order to widen their horizons. "There is so much information out there, you just have to be able to filter it," said Zarema. "No one can tell you what to be interested in, so if you can inform yourself on topics you are passionate about and can articulate your thoughts and views on those issues, that is impressive." Finally, Zarema stressed the significance of building one’s network and interacting with professions whose career paths seem interesting. She also offered to make herself available to Armenian students looking for a job or thinking about where to continue their education. She also noted that an important factor for her in choosing where to study and work is the people. "People interactions are so important, whether with clients, colleagues, or people you report to," she said, highlighting teamwork, culture and a sense of community. "Working with a team you enjoy and whom you respect and admire is important." Register for next week's speaker, Mr. Robert Avetisyan, Permanent Representative of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic to the United States, on Thursday, July 15, 2021 at 6:30 pm Eastern Time. Mr. Robert Avetisyan has served as the Permanent Representative of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic to the United States since his appointment by NKR President Bako Sahakyan in 2009. Previously, Mr. Avetisyan served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nagorno-Karabakh. Mr. Avetisyan holds a Bachelor’s degree in philology from Artsakh State University, and a Master’s degree in international affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. The Terjenian-Thomas Assembly Internship Program, which is taking place virtually this summer, provides college students of Armenian descent an opportunity to gain exposure to the policymaking process in our nation’s capital for eight weeks each summer. Since 1977, the Armenian Assembly of America has assisted over 1,200 participants in securing placements in prominent congressional offices, government agencies, media outlets, think tanks, and non-governmental organizations in Washington, D.C.
Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.