Student orgs recap: ILS, SIPLA, PILF & APALSA

International Law Society panel -- Stephanie Ramos, ILS President
Bettina Hausmann, third from left, spoke at ILS’s October meeting.

On Wednesday, Oct. 24, the International Law Society celebrated United Nations Day by hosting a speaker from San Diego’s United Nations Association (UNA) chapter. UNA San Diego’s executive director, Bettina Hausmann, spoke about the UNA’s 17 goals for sustainable development–specifically, climate action.

Hausmann also gave insight on what is referred to as the trial of the century, Juliana v. United States. In that case, 21 plaintiffs ages 11-22 are suing the federal government for violating the youngest generation’s constitutional rights by contributing to global warming.

"Picking the Right IP Internship" -- Brittany Hernandez, SIPLA Secretary

SIPLA_panelThe Student Intellectual Property Law Association (SIPLA) hosted a panel Thursday, Oct. 18, themed “Picking the Right IP Internship.” SIPLA faculty advisor Tabrez Ebrahim moderated the discussion, which offered relevant and practical strategies for picking an internship in the sometimes-confusing field of intellectual property.

The three panelists were Eric Lovell, a patent attorney at S&L US IP Attorneys, P.C.; Kieran de Terra, formerly of Wilkinson Mazzeo and currently a senior consultant at Robert Half Legal; and Dana Robinson, founding partner of TechLaw LLP and trademark law professor at California Western. The panelists answered questions about the importance of networking, what types of skills employers look for in candidates when interviewing to fill a position, and what a day in the life of an IP attorney really looks like.

Each panelist offered a unique perspective and added useful insights to the discussion. Lovell spoke about his time at Qualcomm and what it was like to work for such a large company, while De Terra alluded to the challenges he faced working at a smaller start-up firm during his time at Wilkinson Mazzeo. Robinson spoke of his time representing casinos in Las Vegas and about how important it is to make a good first impression when interacting with people in the field.

“I really enjoyed how the panelists gave real, practical advice and explained to students what IP employers actually seek in job candidate,” said SIPLA President Amir Khan.

Panel attendee Ryan Stygar said, “It was exciting to learn more about how data and consumer privacy is growing as a field. There are a lot of opportunities out there, and I think that the panel did a fantastic job touching on that industry.”

Public interest law panel -- Taylor McElroy, PILF President

PILF_1The Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) hosted a panel Oct. 22, aimed at demystifying what public interest work actually is. The panel featured three local, successful attorneys who each complete public interest legal work in different ways: Heather Carmody, staff attorney for the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program; Anne Rios, Executive Director of Think Dignity, a nonprofit advocating for rights for the homeless; and Robert Bryson, co-founder of the Public Interest Advocacy Collaborative. Yesenia Acosta, Vice President of PILF, moderated the panel and asked questions to help CWSL students better understand the variety of pathways to public service careers.

At the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Carmody — who described her role as a “jack of all trades” –oversees the Legal Referral and Advocacy Clinic, the Know Your Rights campaign, and direct litigation programs. She offered students a perspective from someone who has always known she wanted to work on in public interest law and gave tips to students on how to pursue public interest as a career.

Rios’s organization, Think Dignity, promotes equal access to the justice system by serving as a bridge between indigent and other disadvantaged people in San Diego County. She offered students a peek into working with many diverse groups of individuals on varied legal issues.

The Public Interest Advocacy Collaborative, Bryson’s organization, provides representation to disadvantaged or displaced populations regarding access to shelter, food, health care, and basic human necessities. The Collaborative also advocates more generally for fair employment and affordable housing, nutrition, health care, and recreation. Bryson thrives on pursuing both homeless and public interest law while also helping disadvantaged groups that need legal assistance.

APALSA panel -- Dimple Chauhan, APALSA President

APALSA_meetingThe Asian-Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) hosted a panel Oct. 22 featuring Stacy Park, an associate at Procopio and president-elect of Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego, and Alastair Agcaoili, Deputy Attorney General at the California Attorney General’s Office and board member for the National Asian Pacific Islander Prosecutors Association.

The attorneys discussed how they got to their respective careers, their best advice for students in law school, and how networking has helped them reach their careers. They also discussed how law students can help create mentorship opportunities with established attorneys and best practices for students when they attend networking events. The event was extremely successful and students enjoyed the opportunity to meet and learn from attorneys at an APALSA meeting.

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