General/Pre-Law Alumni Spotlight

USF pre-law majors have gone on a wide variety of paths after completion of law school. They have careers both in the public and private sector. Some have worked for interest groups; others serve as elected officials. Here are some of their stories.

Hudson Hollister ‘02

As a USF undergraduate political science major, Hudson Hollister learned the basics of U.S. and comparative government, got hands-on policy experience through internships in Washington, D.C. and locally in Joliet, and sharpened his understanding through an independent research project under a professor’s guidance. Hudson’s participation on the USF Mock Trial Team gave him his first taste of legal procedure, while his work with the Student Government Association provided experience in both parliamentary procedure and bureaucracy.

Armed with his USF political science degree, Hudson matriculated at Northwestern University (now Northwestern Pritzker) School of Law, practiced law at a corporate firm, and later joined the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Washington. While working at the SEC, he became interested in the need to modernize government forms and filings—including the disclosure forms that the SEC collects from publicly-traded companies—from disconnected documents into searchable data. To pursue the necessary policy reforms to replace government documents with data, Hudson moved from the SEC to Capitol Hill, where he served as counsel to the House Oversight Committee. In 2012, he resigned from the committee staff to found a nonprofit organization, the Data Coalition, which rallies the technology industry to support modernization. The Data Coalition successfully lobbied Congress to pass the DATA Act, a law requiring all federal spending documents to be transformed into searchable data, in 2014.

Ram Natarajan ‘01

Ram Natarajan came to USF as a biology major on a tennis scholarship.  At the beginning of his junior year, he decided that biology was not the best choice for him and became a political science/pre-law major. Because of the flexibility of the program, Ram was able to graduate in four years, despite changing his major so late. Ram credits the individualized attention of the program with helping him gain admission to Loyola University Law School in Chicago. After graduating from law school, Ram worked in well-known Chicago firms specializing in commercial litigation and insurance matters.  In 2009, Ram founded Natarajan Legal P.C., a full-service practice committed to providing clients with quality and responsive legal representation.

Jason Helland ‘97

Jason Helland arrived at USF with a two-year degree from Joliet Junior College.  While at USF, Jason majored in pre-law/political science and graduated with a number of writing awards, admission to the political science honor society and an award at graduation recognizing him as the outstanding senior in political science. After graduation from John Marshall Law School, Jason worked as an assistant state’s attorney and returned to USF as an adjunct professor.  He was instrumental in the development of USF’s Criminal and Social Justice major. In 2012, Jason ran for Grundy County State’s Attorney and won. He was recently reelected to his second term. Jason’s advice to anyone interested in politics is to see and talk to as many voters as possible and present a positive message. Jason fondly remembers his time at USF as an undergraduate, participating in a number of class simulations and moot court experiences, and as an adjunct for the school from 2006 to 2012. Jason says he has nothing but positive things to say about his USF experience.