Developing expertise in financial industry law and policy through government sector and corporate regulatory experience

Elon Law student Katie Lester L'15

Summer 2014 experience:

Enforcement Division of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Philadelphia, Pa.


Greensboro, N.C.

How Elon gives me an advantage…

You can talk about theories, policies and practices, but unless you practice you can’t help a client from start to finish. Elon prepares us to fit the pieces together after graduation.

My externships…

I worked for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority enforcement division over the summer of 2013. I saw cases at different stages and participated in a hearing. I saw a defendant plead his case and enforcement plead theirs to get sanctions against somebody who had broken several securities laws. This summer (2014), I worked for the SEC enforcement division in Philadelphia with higher risk cases. I’ve also done an in-house council externship with Market America. They’ve involved me in litigation-related activities; it’s been helpful to see both sides.


  • Board of Advisors Scholarship
  • Business Fellows Scholar
  • Leadership Fellow
  • Moot Court Board
  • Elon Law Intramural Moot Court Competition, 2013: Best Brief Award, Quarterfinalist


  • Business Law Association - Executive Board Member, Community Mediator 
  • Innocence Project Volunteer - Student Mentor/Orientation Leader for Class of 2016 
  • Elon Law Admissions Ambassador
  • Greensboro Bar Association - Student Member


  • Greensboro Roller Derby
  • CrossFit
  • Adventure runs
  • NPR
  • Bowling

Before Elon…

After college, I worked as a program director, personal trainer, and group exercise instructor. Then I worked on the annuity sales desk at Lincoln Financial, and got my Series 6 and 63 securities licenses.

How I became interested in law…

I enjoy helping people solve problems. A lawyer needs to analyze information, put it together and solve a problem. I’m looking forward to doing that.

How Elon supports my development…

I’m on the Moot Court board, and I’m also a business fellow and leadership fellow. Those programs have given me exposure to different speakers, different projects and collaborations.

Elon’s perception of leadership…

Leadership is more about giving and positive change, but also making sure that people have opportunities for change. You create a positive force in your community—however big or small that community may be—ensuring everybody’s voices are heard and needs are met.

What’s important about financial law…

There is a balance you have to find—give the industry enough freedom to work and grow, while ensuring controls are in place so nobody’s taken advantage of, everybody knows what’s going on and there’s full disclosure. I look forward to helping the system find that balance.

Outlets for law school…

It’s important to have a life outside the library. While study is a top priority, you need balance. In 2010, I helped start Greensboro Roller Derby. I practice two to three times a week, and we play a full-contact women’s sport. I love it! It’s unique, and helps me relieve stress.