'Write on': Law student is a former member of the Fourth Estate


By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Aleanna Siacon originally double majored in journalism and political science with the intention of becoming a political beat reporter; and by graduation had worked in newsrooms across Metro Detroit and New York, with stories published everywhere from Hour Detroit and The Detroit Free Press to Inc. magazine, USA Today, the Associated Press, and more.

“Any time I wasn’t in class or doing homework, I was working on a story,” she says.

She added a third string to her bow by tacking on a history major after studying abroad her sophomore year in Ghana as part of WSU President Emeritus Irvin D. Reid’s African Democracy Project program. “I thought it was amazing—we got to meet with Ghanaian students, two former presidents of Ghana, a U.S. foreign-service officer, and tour the Ghanaian High Court complex,” Siacon says.

Siacon loved life as a journalist.

“It was busy, but super exciting,” she says. “I’m very interested and passionate about investigative news and explanatory pieces. I once completed a comprehensive look into the Detroit Police Department’s body cameras for Hour Detroit magazine and looked into the Environmental Protection Agency’s ban on toxic paint thinners for The Detroit Free Press.

“While juggling my classes, I worked during polar vortexes, visited crime scenes, explored historical sites and honey bee farms, took circus performance lessons, chased after presidential candidates, you name it.”

In her junior and senior year, she interned on the breaking news desk at The Free Press. “My work ran the gamut from crime and trending news to attending local parades and doing Facebook Live weather updates. I once joined the White House Press pool during a presidential visit to Michigan and got to be on the tarmac as Air Force One flew in.

“I was also very privileged to be part of the paper’s coverage of Aretha Franklin’s homecoming - from the visitation and tribute concert to the final procession featuring a sea of pink Cadillacs.”

After her internship, Siacon was hired as a freelance reporter and assisted with breaking news and investigative projects. She published more than 650 stories for The Detroit Free Press/USA Today Network, which garnered more than 13.66 million online page views.

The summer after sophomore year, she interned at The Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y.; and the summer before her senior year, she moved to New York City to intern at the business magazine Inc. through the American Society of Magazine Editors program.

“I learned so much while helping to background check founders and their businesses for Inc.’s annual lists of America’s fastest-growing businesses,” she says. “As part of the program we also got to meet and network with editors and writers at publications like, The New Yorker, Elle, Esquire, O: The Oprah Magazine, plus media partnership professionals at Twitter and Instagram’s NYC headquarters. I was also able to visit The New York Times newsroom while in the city and see the process of how their front page comes together.”

Siacon found it hard to swap the world of the news for the legal field. “However, news moves very fast and newsrooms don’t have endless resources,” she says. “I was drawn to the law because I wanted to help play a role in the resolutions I didn’t always get to see. I liked the idea of getting to be an advocate and having more ability to shape the outcome of a story.”

Siacon is now in her 2L year at Wayne Law  and is a member of  Law Review and Moot Court.

A member of the Wolverine Bar Association, she also serves as president of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) and secretary of the Health Law Society.

This past summer, Siacon was a summer associate at Plunkett Cooney, working in-person; and has  accepted an offer to return to the firm as a summer associate again next year.


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