Editor’s Note: Each summer Penn Law students hone their skills through a wide array of private and public sector internships across the country and around the world. Generous financial support and fellowships for international and public interest work enable students to pursue diverse assignments in the U.S. and abroad. This dispatch from Nayha Zubair L’16 is one in a series of firsthand accounts by Law School students about how their summer employment opportunities are preparing them for their legal careers. Zubair, from Fremont, CA, graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2013. She hopes to pursue a career in corporate or transactional law in California after graduation.
This summer I am working at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, in the company’s legal department. Because I started my internship shortly after Twitter filed its IPO, everything has been moving very quickly and there has been a variety of interesting projects to work on. So far, I have had the opportunity to draft commercial agreements and pen amendments to ongoing contracts, research and identify privacy issues stemming from the release of new products, and shadow negotiations with attorneys and business partners. I look forward to working with other teams throughout the summer.
Prior work experience helped to prepare me for my internship at Twitter. During college I worked at AdRoll, an advertising and retargeting startup in San Francisco. My experience at AdRoll introduced me to and consequently stimulated my interest in the advertising/technology space. By providing me with industry knowledge, my internship at AdRoll trained me to tackle many of the legal issues in this area at Twitter.
Likewise, coursework from my 1L year at Penn Law equipped me for, and is now complemented by, my projects at Twitter. Most specifically, “Introduction to Intellectual Property and Policy” with Professor R. Polk Wagner has proven to be extremely useful in providing a framework for many of the legal issues in the technology space. Without having taken this class, I would be largely unfamiliar with aspects of trademark and copyright law that form the basis of many of my projects. Further, Professor Wagner’s emphasis on the policy implications of certain intellectual property practices enabled me to think critically and offer insight from various perspectives.
Though I am unsure of the exact career path that I will take in the future, I am optimistic that this internship will ease the transition from law school to the workforce. Not only does working in the legal department of Twitter help me to apply the concepts that I have learned in the classroom to real-life scenarios, it has introduced me to the practical nature of lawyering and the crucial need to balance legal risk with business demand. I hope to use all that I have learned here to add depth to future class discussion, bring innovative insights to clinics, and make the most of my education at #PennLaw.