From Pharmacist to Law Student: Samarth's Inspiring Journey & Future at Troutman Pepper

From Pharmacist to Law Student

Samarth Parikh is a 3L weekend student and currently an Associate Director at Johnson & Johnson. Samarth will be a summer associate at Troutman Pepper during Summer 2024.

Can you talk about your other degrees and why you chose to pursue them?
Prior to attending Seton Hall Law School, I completed my Doctorate in Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (PCP) and my MBA from the Rutgers Business School. I chose to become a pharmacist because my purpose has always been to help people and to make a positive difference. As a pharmacist, I work for Johnson & Johnson (J&J) where I get to live that purpose every day as my work ensures the safety of drug products for millions of patients. I decided to pursue an MBA as my second degree because I see myself as a life-long learner and I believed that MBA would help me grow my leadership and business skills. As a result of blending my healthcare and business background, I have been able to bring value to my current organization and patients.

Can you tell us about your present full-time employment as a pharmacist?
I work for Johnson & Johnson (J&J) as an Associate Director within medical safety. In my role as a healthcare professional at J&J, I am responsible for monitoring the post-marketing safety profile of marketed products and ensuring that products continue to remain safe for patients.  I am also responsible for analyzing post-marketing safety data reported by healthcare professionals and patients and implementing mitigation plans to ensure medical safety for drug products.

What made you decide to attend law school? Were you hoping to change careers, or looking for a way to advance your career at Janssen?
It is my purpose to make a difference in people’s lives that motivated me to attend law school. My interest in law school stemmed from noticing an unmet need to have more healthcare professionals with legal backgrounds to make a positive difference in people’s lives. I noticed that there are not many healthcare professionals who have pursued legal education, and this made me realize that a healthcare professional’s voice and perspective may be missing for clients facing health law issues. I believe that blending my healthcare, business, and legal background would help me to better understand client affairs in the health law space and will allow me to provide value and not just service to my future clients.

Have you had any other legal experience, not related to your full-time employment?
No, I have not had any other legal experience outside of my full-time employment.

What made you decide to pursue a Summer Associate position in your 3LW summer?
I decided to pursue a Summer Associate position, as I realized the importance of having an associate experience before joining a firm in a full-time role. I wanted to gain an opportunity to put my law school learnings into practice and obtain an experience to better prepare myself for a full-time role upon graduation. Additionally, I am looking forward to experiencing the firm’s culture, working on real-world client matters, and identifying the focus areas of my interest before I join a firm in a full-time position.

How did you find your position with Troutman Pepper?
I found my position with Troutman Pepper with the help of the Office of Career Services (OCS). I had an opportunity to attend an employer event at the Law School earlier this year where I got an opportunity to meet with the Troutman Pepper team. I also had another opportunity to meet with other team members from Troutman Pepper at the Big Law dinner event hosted by OCS in the summer. Having these opportunities to connect with the team members prior to the interview process helped me prepare better for the interviews.

Did you also participate in Fall Recruitment? Can you elaborate a bit on your experience?
I signed up for the Fall recruitment process, but I did not participate in the process because I received an offer from Troutman Pepper before the process started. On the guidance from OCS, I applied for the Troutman Pepper position earlier before the Fall Recruitment process began. This helped me obtain an interview invite earlier with the Troutman Pepper team.

Do you have any advice for your fellow weekend students as they approach Spring Recruitment, or Fall Recruitment next year?
My advice would be to attend all law school-sponsored employer events because it is a great opportunity to connect with the firms outside of the interview process. Additionally, I would recommend everyone connect with OCS because OCS members are a great resource for law students, and they can help you connect with employers in your area of interest.

At Troutman Pepper next summer, will you be rotating through different practice areas, or working in a dedicated practice area?
My understanding is that I will be working primarily in the health sciences litigation area, but I will also have an opportunity to work on transactional matters in the health sciences space.

What are you most excited about in starting your position at Troutman Pepper next summer?
I am most excited about meeting new people and building new workplace relationships with the Troutman Pepper team members.