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Alyra Liriano ’12

Jurisprudence, Political Science

Posted in: Alumni Profiles

Alrya Liriano

‌Alyra Liriano graduated cum laude from Montclair State in 2012 with a double major in Jurisprudence and Political Science. Now she’s in her third year as an evening student at Seton Hall University School of Law with interests in Data Security and Employment Law. She recently completed a summer job as a corporate legal intern for Wyndham Worldwide. There, she performed legal work in a business context – an experience that will give her a competitive edge in the job market.

Community service

Outside of professional development, Liriano is committed to giving back, with a focus on minority populations. She recently spearheaded MetroLALSA’s Pipeline Initiative – a program that provides students with the mentoring, tools, and information so they can find success in law school. As a volunteer at elementary and high schools, she talks to students about the value of education and helps in other ways like coaching a student for an upcoming school debate or giving input on a college application.

Lover of language, starts a student club

L‌iriano, who is fluent in Spanish, picked up Portuguese at Montclair State, taking three levels of classes with Michele Kettner, in the Portuguese program, simply because she is fascinated by the language and culture, particularly of Brazil. “I was so captivated by what I was learning from my peers that I even started practicing Capoeira and earned my first belt,” she wrote in an email. She went on to co-found the Portuguese Language and Culture Club, but wasn’t able to get a degree in the language since the minor program began just as she was completing her study at Montclair State.

Portuguese and Spanish: Valuable for a career

Liriano has put her Portuguese skills to work. On adding it to her resume, an employer once conducted half the interview in Portuguese. Languages are also valuable in her day job. “It is a wonderful skill to speak more than one language, and it is even better when you use it to help others. I use my Spanish and Portuguese language at work almost every day to translate documents and help our clients tell their story in the most natural way possible – their native tongue,” she wrote in an email.

Liriano is dedicated to sharing her talents. She wrote that she feels privileged, as the first in her family to earn a bachelor’s in this country, and grateful for the support she’s received along the way from family, mentors, teachers, and more. For instance, it was a helping hand that was instrumental as her mother first found her way in the United States, after arriving at the age of 20 from the Dominican Republic.

She is also a big booster for Montclair students. She recently returned to campus to speak on a panel for the Portuguese Language and Culture Club. She advocates that students “can major in anything they want, take courses out of mere curiosity, and steer their career in any direction they choose. Montclair State University gave me that window of opportunity and I took full advantage of it, and I would love for them to do the same.”

Looking ahead, Liriano has lined up a summer law clerk position with LeClairRyan, an entrepreneurial law firm that provides business counsel and client representation in matters of corporate law and high-stakes litigation, and a judicial internship working with the Honorable Esther Salas of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. She is also an associate editor on the Seton Hall Legislative Journal, and was recently elected as the Hispanic National Bar Association’s Region III President for the Law Student Division.