Law student is a former member of the Fourth Estate

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Law student Aleanna Siacon double majored in journalism and political science at Wayne State University with the intention of becoming a political beat reporter; and by graduation had worked in newsrooms across Metro Detroit and New York, with stories published everywhere from Hour Detroit and The Detroit Free Press to Inc. magazine, USA Today, the Associated Press, and more. She tacked on a history major after studying abroad her sophomore year in Ghana as part of an African Democracy Project program.

Siacon loved life as a journalist.  “It was busy, but super exciting,” she says. “I’m very interested and passionate about investigative news and explanatory pieces. I once completed a comprehensive look into the Detroit Police Department’s body cameras for Hour Detroit magazine and looked into the Environmental Protection Agency’s ban on toxic paint thinners for The Detroit Free Press.

“While juggling my classes, I worked during polar vortexes, visited crime scenes, explored historical sites and honey bee farms, took circus performance lessons, chased after presidential candidates, you name it.”

In her junior and senior year, she worked on the breaking news desk at The Free Press, and once joined the White House Press pool during a presidential visit to Michigan and got to be on the tarmac as Air Force One flew in.

“I was also very privileged to be part of the paper’s coverage of Aretha Franklin’s homecoming - from the visitation and tribute concert to the final procession featuring a sea of pink Cadillacs.”

After her Detroit Free Press internship, Siacon was hired as a freelance reporter and assisted with breaking news and investigative projects. She published more than 650 stories for The Detroit Free Press/USA Today Network, which garnered more than 13.66 million online page views.

The summer after sophomore year, she interned at The Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y.; and the summer before her senior year, she moved to New York City to intern at the business magazine Inc. through the American Society of Magazine Editors program.

“I learned so much while helping to background check founders and their businesses for Inc.’s annual lists of America’s fastest-growing businesses,” she says. “As part of the program we also got to meet and network with editors and writers at publications like, The New Yorker, Elle, Esquire, O: The Oprah Magazine, plus media partnership professionals at Twitter and Instagram’s NYC headquarters. I was also able to visit The New York Times newsroom while in the city and see the process of how their front page comes together.”

Siacon found it very hard to swap the world of the news for the legal field. “However, news moves very fast and newsrooms don’t have endless resources,” she says. “I found myself listening to people’s stories sometimes and wishing that I could do more. You don’t always get to see how things resolve as a reporter, because you have to move onto the next pressing story.

“I was really drawn to the law because I wanted to help play a role in the resolutions I didn’t always get to see. I liked the idea of getting to be an advocate and having more ability to shape the outcome of a story.”

Siacon is in her 2L year at Wayne Law, where she joined both Law Review and Moot Court.

A proud member of the Wolverine Bar Association, which has created many valuable opportunities, Siacon also serves as president of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) and secretary of the Health Law Society.

This past summer, Siacon was a summer associate at Plunkett Cooney; and  accepted an offer to return to the firm as a summer associate next year.

She also spent a few summer weeks as a judicial extern for Judge Mark Goldsmith at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan   Chronicle, both part of the USA Today Network of newspapers.




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