Earlier this week, Santa Clara Law hosted a panel with members of Cooley’s talent team. The panel, moderated by ChIPs representatives and students Brooke Banta 1L and Amanda O’Dea 1L, touched on topics ranging from the post-law school experience to desired skills sought after by company recruiters.

The event’s panelists included: Mani Roy J.D. ‘13, Partner at Cooley focusing on patent strategies for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies; Lukhan Baloch J.D. ‘20, Associate at Cooley with an emphasis on representing emerging companies and venture capital funds; Allie Leeper, Partner at Cooley practicing intellectual property litigation; and Rachel Senturia J.D. ‘21, Associate at Cooley focusing on licensing and strategic partnering agreements.

As students gathered to hear from the panelists, the moderators posed several questions; among them, they shared students’ desire to hear about the learning curve post-law school. “I felt like I didn’t know anything when I started working,” one of the panelists shared. “You’re a blank slate and you’re learning on the go, so that’s the hardest part. The learning curve is really steep, but it gets better: you’re always learning.” Another panelist shared: “Law firms are unusual because you don’t have a boss: you have a lot of bosses. It’s especially hard your first couple of years when even you don’t necessarily have a good sense of where you’re at. Don’t be afraid to ask questions like, ‘How long do you expect this to take me?’”

The panelists were then asked about various other topics, including the skills recruiters look for and their favorite parts of working at a firm. “Following up and taking the initiative,” a panelist answered.
“That’s all about taking ownership and feeling like part of the team as opposed to, ‘Oh, I’m being here to do what you need me to do, and just tell me what you need me to do.’” Another panelist affirmed, “At the end of the day, it’s all about the team that you’re working with.”

Following the panel’s events, attendees and students were treated to Ike’s Sandwiches in the Mabie Grand Atrium and an hour of networking with the panelists.

ChIPs (Chiefs in IP)—one of Santa Clara Law’s many storied and valuable Law School Organizations (LSOs)—is a nonprofit organization that advances and connects women in technology, law, and policy. ChIPs hosts diverse events for students to build their networks with attorneys from big law, small firms, and in-house legal departments. They also provide a mentorship program in collaboration with ChIPs Silicon Valley, connecting students and attorneys in Silicon Valley.