The Real World: Richard L. Stone

Richard L. Stone graduated from Colgate in 1981. He then attended Columbia University, where he received his J.D. in 1983. He has served as a Clerk of the Eastern District of New York for United States District Judge, Honorable Charles P. Sifton, served as a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft and has written for Columbia Law Review. Stone is currently working as a securities class action lawyer for Kirby, McInerney & Squire, L.L.P. in Florida, where he lives with his family.

ED: So what brings you back to Colgate right now?

RS: I’m here to teach two courses about business ethics, one in the fall and one in the spring. I came last year as well.

ED: What activities were you involved in while at Colgate?

RS: Swimming! I swam for two years. I was okay, but not great. I hurt my leg in high school and never was as good afterwards.

ED: Were you involved with the fraternities or other activities?

RS: I wasn’t in a frat. I really wasn’t involved in that much because I was gone for two semesters. I was actually only here for four semesters.

ED: Where did you go?

RS: I went on the Geneva, Switzerland, and Washington study groups. They were really good. It was the first year for the Geneva group. I hadn’t been overseas before.

ED: What did you major in?

RS: Political science.

ED: What made you choose political science as a major?

RS: I graduated in three years and that was the major I had the most credits in.

ED: Did you know what you wanted to be after college?

RS: Yeah, to be a lawyer.

ED: What do you do now?

RS: I’m a securities class action lawyer from the plaintiff’s side. I live and work in Florida. I do what a lawyer does: write briefs, research cases and do pleadings.

ED: What do you like about your job?

RS: I work for myself, make my own hours. I have my children and get to spend a lot of time with them.

ED: What do you think helped you the most in getting to where you are?

RS: I would say the main thing was getting into Columbia and doing well there. It was easy to get good opportunities after that. Someone in Career Planning, A.C. Jaskson, suggested that I pursue a special program. That’s why I graduated in three years.

ED: Do you have any advice for underclassmen not yet looking for a job?

RS: Be very serious about it. It is a serious thing. Little things like being on time, checking your grammar, your spelling. Be professional. They mean it.

ED: How about advice for seniors?

RS: Sort of the same advice. Little things can make a difference, like being on time, staying a little bit late. People like that. Not me, because I’m kind of easygoing. But with people you have to bend for them in the beginning, that’s what you have to do.