Anthony Bjelki headshot photo

Anthony Bjelke '16

Associate Attorney, Rivkin Radler LLP

Hometown: Dix Hills, NY

Major: Political Science

Current Involvement: Federal Circuit Bar Association; New York State Bar Association; Siena College President’s Circle

Involvement while at Siena: Student Senate; Mock Trial; Pre-Law Society; Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity

How do you involve yourself in your community? I try to keep myself engaged in the Siena Community as much as possible, whether it's helping out as a News & Notes Coordinator for the Class of 2016, or sitting in and providing feedback to the Mock Trial team during a practice. 

Describe a typical day in your life.

I usually wake up early to check on news and emails. As a relatively new law firm associate, my work day can vary pretty widely, from doing legal research and writing, to sitting in on depositions and preparing for trials. My free time is usually spent keeping up with my favorite sports teams (Mets, Giants, Knicks), catching up with family and friends, and reading (mostly historical non-fiction).  

Anthony at Dr. Cutler's celebration (mentioned below).

How did your Siena education prepare you for the work you’re doing today?

One of the greatest benefits of a well-rounded Siena education is that it prepares your brain to be adaptable. In my practice group, we deal with complex cases involving experts from fields as diverse as accounting, engineering, and environmental science. Being able to adapt to understand how experts from different fields communicate their work is an essential tool, and one that my Siena education helped to hone. 

Describe your professional progression since leaving Siena. 

After leaving Siena, I moved to Washington, DC to get my J.D. at the American University Washington College of Law. While there I interned for groups focused on intellectual property, government contracts, and international banking issues, as well as at a law firm specializing in international trade. 

After graduating and passing the bar, I began working at Rivkin Radler LLP as an Associate in the Insurance Coverage practice group.  


Siena Professor: Dr. Cutler. I would have been entirely unprepared for law school without him.

Class: Ireland in the Famine Era with Professor Sonnelitter. The class itself was amazing, and the week we all spent on the west coast of Ireland at semester’s end was unforgettable. 

Location: Thompson Trail. Especially when I lived in Snyder Hall, it was the perfect place to take a minute to relax and decompress. 

Study-break food: When it first opened, Casey’s had this awesome sandwich called “The Mullen.” It was the perfect grab-and-go option when I was running to a meeting in SSU or elsewhere on campus. 

Residence Hall: Hines Hall. A full half of my time at Siena was spent there (Freshman and Sophomore years). I have so many great memories from there, and I can trace most of my Siena friends back to that building. 

Class Year: Sophomore. I had already gotten involved in a number of groups at that point, and my friends and I had really started to learn the ropes, before we all had to start thinking too hard about what we were doing after we graduated. 

Food: Limmy’s Omelettes. Nothing got you ready for a long day or restored your energy after an all-nighter quite like those omelettes. 

Favorite memory: As a Senior, I had the opportunity to speak at a dinner honoring Dr. Cutler’s 45th year at Siena (pictured above). With careful planning (and with sign off from the real boss, Kathy Renaud), I turned my remarks into a light-hearted roast, complete with spirited impersonations of some of Dr. Cutler’s greatest pedagogical hits by fellow mischief-maker Matt Lorini '16. Needless to say, we brought down the house!

Advice for current Saints:

Especially in these unusual times, take advantage of every opportunity you can to get involved. The education you receive at Siena will absolutely be stellar, but the true measure of your time is the connections and bonds you make for life. 

Career advice for current students:

Networking is real. Whenever possible, seek out Siena alumni in your field. One of the great benefits of Siena’s small campus is that alumni across generations have shared experiences in ways that graduates from massive schools don’t. Talking about the school can be a great icebreaker, and even educational. Maybe you’ll learn about when they built the “new” Library, or when there was an on-campus bar in the basement of Foy Hall. Bottom line, you’ll have started a conversation with someone who you may have otherwise been too nervous to speak to.