Where They’re Headed: Macklin Willigan ’17

Macklin Willigan ’17, who majored in political science and German studies while working on the runway, heads to a Manhattan law firm to work as a paralegal.

Though he’s worked for much of his college career in the fashion industry, Macklin Willigan ’17 is now taking a turn into the world of law. The political science and German studies double major, who has worked for the past two years as a professional model, will be working as a paralegal, assisting attorneys at the firm Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC, in midtown Manhattan starting in July.

In that job he will prepare and organize casework, collect documents, and draft and proof briefs, all of which will be excellent preparation for his own eventual law school education and career in either law or government. As a double major who wrote two theses at Haverford, Willigan honed skills, such as his abilities to compartmentalize, stay organized, and multi-task,” that he thinks will be valuable in his new job.

He is also especially excited to be moving to New York City. Willigan grew up two hours north of the city along the Hudson River and, as a child, would occasionally take the train into town with his family.

“During my college years, I only spent more and more time there on my own, and my desire to eventually move there only grew,” he says.

Though his life as a paralegal will no doubt be a busy one, Willigan has already familiarized himself with juggling a lot of responsibilities. During the summer of his sophomore year, in lieu of an internship, Willigan began modeling in New York after submitting pictures to multiple agencies. He built up his portfolio, and the winter before he left to study abroad in Berlin, he was cast in notable New York Fashion Week shows, such as Polo Ralph Lauren and Moncler Grenoble. While abroad he landed a contract with an agency in Berlin, and finished the rest of his Haverford career while juggling a serious courseload and his international modeling career.

Going forward, however, modeling didn’t quite fit into Willigan’s plans.

“I couldn’t help but think of modeling’s opportunity cost, so I decided to start phasing out in the spring semester of my senior year,” he says.

Even if the bulk Willigan’s modeling days are behind him, his fashion career helped him garner experience with the interview process, which, in turn, was helpful during his job search.

“‘Castings’ are really just interviews with some pictures or videos thrown in the mix,” Willigan says.

Though he plans to spend at least two years as a paralegal and his eventual goal is law school, Willigan also hopes to return again soon to this site of his study-abroad semester.

“[I’m] dead set on spending a year in Germany before returning to school,” he says, “either with the help of some scholarship, exchange, or program.”

For now, Willigan is simply concentrating on his new job, where he hopes to “learn a great deal and gain perspective into what a career at a law firm might entail. Aside from that, if I get the chance to accompany an attorney to court, I’m sure that will be exhilarating.”

Photo by Ashley Jahncke

“Where They’re Headed” is a blog series reporting on the post-collegiate plans of recent Haverford graduates.