Jason Mark Anderman, M.A./J.D. 1997

Head of Legal and Compliance, Certa, Montclair, New Jersey

M.A., Cultural Anthropology, J.D. School of Law (1997)

How has being a Cultural Anthropology graduate from Duke helped shape you personally and/or professionally?

"Studying legal anthropology, and in particular reading the seminal work Rules Versus Relationships, has been foundational for my legal career. Understanding these teachings often forms the basis of my insights, in particular, that what might appear to be the substantive merits of a legal matter often are unimportant to the parties because of their varying agendas; I often have my ears open for discourse analysis. My coursework with the Department's many other compelling professors helped me to see the power of implicit ideologies which is quite valuable in the legal arena. One professor emphasized the importance of neural networks over 25 years ago, which was prescient in today's world of artificial intelligence. Another analyzed cultural artifacts and taught me about the resonance of an often diaphanous world."

What advice would you give students in Duke's Cultural Anthropology programs? 

"Career success often is about finding the intersection between your passions and opportunities that will afford you a living that makes you sufficiently comfortable. In my experience, learning to regularly network effectively and always obtaining new skills will allow you to achieve this goal, whether in anthropology, the law, or another career. Please feel free to reach out if I can be of help."