Cara Parmigiani '13
Student, artist, filmmaker and martial arts teacher
Cara Parmigiani came to Seton Hall Law with a diverse background and a dream to follow in her father’s footsteps, but has found herself carving her own path in the legal field.
Her latest extracurricular project, “Pony & Pony: Ponies at Law, is a live action, short film for children, though equally entertaining for adults, following two puppet ponies through their first case. The film seeks to give children a window into the thought process real attorneys use in aiding their clients while teaching them simple legal concepts.
The film, funded in part by the Seton Hall Women’s Law Forum, sends the message that despite the perception that the law is always fair and that things always work out, there is some discord between how the law should work and how it actually works.
Parmigiani, who spent last summer as an intern with the Office of Attorney Ethics, the investigative and prosecutorial arm of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, traces her love of the law and her strong sense of justice to her father, formerly an assistant prosecutor. In her basement hangs a plaque given to her father by a client which reads “Honest Lawyer,” a phrase to which she never gave much thought while growing up. “I always felt that this was a very great profession,” she said. “As a prosecutor, my dad put people in jail who belonged there, and kept out people who didn’t.”
Her desire to stay in New Jersey, her home state, and the fact that it was her father’s alma mater, brought Cara to Seton Hall Law. After graduating from Rutgers University in 2003, Cara worked in property management with commercial and residential tenants. The experience helped her learn how to deal with others. “In a stressful situation where people are not giving you what you want, I learned how to stay cool and rational while others are not,” she said. During this time, she also earned a graduate degree in Genetics and Psychology. She picked up another of her many passions, martial arts, while at Rutgers. She currently practices and teaches Dan Dan Ryu Jujitsu, Brazilian Jujitsu and Muy Thai. Her martial arts training instilled her with confidence which helps her in the classroom.
Last but not least, Cara is an artist. She writes and illustrates a weekly web comic, which will be collected in a graphic novel, Death Defying. She has also exhibited artwork in a gallery in Newark, A City Without Walls, the first stop on a tour of her artwork.
So how does she fit it all in? “People ask me how I have time to do all these things. I don’t watch television. That frees up a lot of time,” she said.
As Parmigiani makes the transition from artist to legal professional, she is considering what direction she wants to take once she receives her degree. “I had gone in with the expectation of being an attorney for the prosecution, or a judge. As my artwork has caught on, I am leaning toward being an attorney for artists,” she said.
Click here to visit Pony & Pony on Facebook.