Jessica Miers JD ’21 received the Dean’s Outstanding Student Leadership Award for exemplifying the Santa Clara Law motto of “Lawyers Who Lead,” and for serving other students, the school, and the community. Read more about other Santa Clara Law 2021 award recipients.
What was your favorite class in law school and why?
I went to Santa Clara Law specifically to study Internet Law under Professor Eric Goldman−one of the most respected thought leaders in the Internet and technology law and policy field. It follows that Prof. Goldman’s Internet law class was my all-time favorite. What excites me the most about Internet law is the extent of creativity demanded of lawyers and policymakers in our field. You can’t simply apply offline rules to our online spaces as you might between different traditional practice areas. Regulating the online world requires a special kind of out-of-the-box thinking that really only the geekiest of technology policy wonks and lawyers can withstand.
Prof. Goldman’s Internet law class challenges students to rise to a new level of creative legal thinking and embrace the uncertainty that comes with attempting to regulate our ever-changing digital ecosystem. Not only did his class provide me with all of the necessary resources and tools for my career in public policy, but it also drove home some of the most valuable lessons I’ve ever received regarding how to be a great lawyer in general.
What about your law school experience are you the most grateful for?
I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the first Tech Edge J.D. cohort. Three years ago I said that the Tech Edge J.D. is going to revolutionize law school education, and today I absolutely stand by that sentiment. I was particularly excited about the program because–to my knowledge–there is no other program like it at any law school in the nation. Being part of the first cohort, I had the opportunity to blaze trails for future Tech Edge generations.
Looking at where I and my fellow cohort colleagues are now, I would say the program was a huge success. Thanks to Tech Edge, I was paired with Prof. Goldman as my faculty advisor and I wouldn’t be where I am now without his above-and-beyond mentorship. I was also paired with two industry mentors from Facebook and Google. Both were also central to my successes in law school and my current career.
Candidly, I did not have the 1L grades to match the internships I landed throughout law school. Thanks to Tech Edge, my grades were the least interesting part of my overall sales pitch. As a result, I had the opportunity to work for Twitter, the Internet Archive, TechFreedom, the UCLA Technology Law and Policy Institute, Prof. Goldman as his Research Assistant, and now in Government Affairs and Public Policy at Google.
What most surprised you about law school?
I was most surprised by how much I could accomplish in so little time (one of the many advantages of going to a smaller school). My law school journey was quite non-traditional. Instead of becoming a generalist, I used my three years to become an established expert on one crucial Internet law: Section 230–the law that created the Internet we know and love today.
During my three years here, using the resources provided to me by the Tech Edge J.D. program, I’ve published more than 25 articles on Section 230, presented at TEDx SCU, spoke extensively at conferences, other law schools, and alongside the authors of Section 230, FCC commissioners, and the former director of the NTIA, and I founded the Internet Law Student Organization, dedicated to educating students about careers in Internet law and tech policy. I also amassed a decent Twitter following by developing and capitalizing on my brand; one of many skills I learned from my Tech Edge J.D. advisor.
What would you say to someone considering coming to Santa Clara Law for law school?
The Santa Clara Law community is special. If you’re looking for a law school experience that caters to creativity, collaboration, and innovation, then chances are you’ve found the right home; one unlike any other in the nation.
What are your career plans after graduation?
I’m incredibly lucky to have landed my full-time dream career in Internet policy at Google before graduating from law school. Thanks to Tech Edge, I had the opportunity to explore so many different technology law and policy careers before I got here. Now, I’m excited to settle into this role and see where it takes me next. In the long term, I’m deeply interested in exploring more permanent opportunities in legal academia.