Jess Merritt, a 2012 graduate, has had a career that has taken her across continents.
She now works as a paralegal with an international company, where each day she utilizes
the language, professional, and cross-cultural skills that she honed during her time
with the Spanish M.A. program at SLU.
Upon graduation from SLU, I landed an entry-level position with Abengoa, a Spanish
multinational technology company specializing in renewable energy, based in Seville.
I worked as an assistant in the legal department where I quickly grew and was promoted.
Abengoa provided tuition assistance so I could continue my education, and in 2015,
I completed a paralegal degree, with an emphasis in business law. From there, I continued
to take on more legal work in both Spanish and English. After the business unit closed
its doors at the end of 2015, I joined SSM Health at their System Office in Creve
Coeur, MO. I worked two years at SSM Health and then transitioned to my current job
with Guerbet in January 2018.
Guerbet, headquartered in Paris, France, is a global leader in diagnostic and interventional
imaging. I currently support the Corporate Counsel for North America and Latin America.
My title is Senior Paralegal – Americas.
Highlights of my career include: learning all about Colombia's judicial system and
supporting corporate counsel to manage a lawsuit in Colombia, traveling to Panama
City and Colón in April 2019 to implement a compliance program in Panama, and traveling
to Bariloche, Argentina in February 2020 to present on legal topics at Guerbet’s annual
Latin American Distributors Conference.
Since graduate school, I also got married, moved to a farm, and had two babies!
I learned so much and met the most wonderful professors and colleagues, but to put
it simply: the intensity, especially with regards to the reading and writing, in grad
school prepared me to be able to work in a fast-paced, bilingual legal department.
I’ll also add that I learned how to give a class which is a huge help when having
to give a presentation in the professional world!
Since graduate school, I have complemented my Spanish studies with legal training.
The rigorous coursework of graduate school prepared me for legal coursework, as well
as working in the professional world. My experiences with Latin American and Spanish
culture have also prepared me to work in an international company. In the future,
I plan to pursue a Master's of Jurisprudence in Health Law.
Manage all contracts for the U.S. and LatAm in both English and Spanish;
Coordinate with local counsel and country managers for all LatAm countries to prepare
annual minutes, powers of attorney, proxies, bylaws, stock certificates, other corporate
organizational documents, and local, regulatory documents.
Manage corporate books, records, and registrations for all Guerbet entities in the
US and LatAm;
Perform research and analysis on legal topics;
Collaborate with finance teams to complete annual financial audits in US and LatAm;
Manage relationship with U.S. registered agent (complete filings, manage cost, etc.).
Support the litigation process in the U.S. and LatAm
Liaise with legal team in Paris to address global, legal issues