Pathways to the Profession: Kunal Kanodia L’20
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 United States and abroad. This post from Kunal Kanodia L’20 is one in a series of firsthand accounts detailing how students’ summer employment opportunities are preparing them for their legal careers.
Kunal Kanodia L’20 is from Allahabad, India. He attended The Doon School and later graduated cum laude from Columbia University with a B.A. in Human Rights. Over the past year, he has served as the Co-President of the South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA), Associate Editor at the Asian Law Review, and the Vice-President of NALSD at Penn Law. He is also an active member of APALSA and Lambda, where he is involved with Lambda Legal’s Fair Courts Project.
This summer, I have had the amazing opportunity of being a Summer Associate at Linklaters LLP, splitting my time between the Corporate practice in London and the Dispute Resolution practice in New York. While my time in New York would not begin until later in the summer, my time with the Corporate practice in London was a truly incredible experience. I had the chance to delve into cross-border Capital Markets work, and to gain insight into what it might mean to be a U.S. attorney at a Magic Circle firm in London. As one of four Summer Associates spending the first half of their summer in London, I have had a particularly rewarding summer thanks to both Linklaters’ training modules and exceptional mentorship resources and the excellent resources available through Penn Law’s Office of Career Planning & Professionalism.
Over the summer, I have had the opportunity to engage in a variety of projects that have included due diligence, research, and working on a variety of financial reports. I have even had the opportunity to complete assignments for different transactions with lawyers in the U.K. and India practices within the Corporate practice group, which has meant an exciting chance to work with lawyers who had a variety of different legal educations and expertise.
My experience as a Summer Associate at Littler Mendelson in New York through the LCLD Scholar Program last summer, as well as my coursework at Penn Law, have been remarkably valuable in guiding me through a challenging summer and ensuring that I have a rewarding experience at Linklaters. At Littler, I worked primarily with the litigation team within the area of employment law, which surprisingly employed many of the same skills that I found to be applicable for corporate work at Linklaters. For instance, document review and due diligence both require many of the same research and analysis skill sets. My Contracts class with Professor Jean Galbraith and Corporations with Professor Elizabeth Pollman have been particularly relevant in helping me understand how contractual drafting might work, how and when disputes arise, and what considerations corporations might have.
I am excited to see what the rest of the summer has to offer, and I am grateful for my wonderful experience at Linklaters so far. This summer has provided me with substantive legal opportunities and mentorship opportunities, and I am looking forward to continuing to learn from the exceptionally talented attorneys and mentors at Linklaters.