In their first jobs out of law school, two UC Law SF graduates are working with in-house legal teams to review high-level contracts, investigate legal risks, and navigate data privacy laws at major technology companies in San Francisco.
Famy Chavosh and Maryam Quasto, both ‘22 graduates, are spending a full year working at Affirm and Dropbox respectively, thanks to a new offering as part of the law school’s Attorneys in Residence (AiR) Program.
Inspired by the medical residency model, UC Law SF has for years partnered with small-to-mid-sized law firms, providing them with fresh legal talent at a reasonable cost while giving recent grads opportunities for valuable training and experience.
This year, the legal services firm Paragon Legal, as part of their Career Connect Program, teamed up with UC Law SF to place graduating law students from diverse backgrounds at in-house legal departments at Bay Area technology firms. Paragon provides flexible, interim legal talent to in-house legal departments to support overflow work, special projects, or full-time employee backfills.
“Entry-level positions in-house are very hard to find, especially at a large company with a large legal department,” said Fairuz Abdullah, director of employer relations at the UC Law SF Career Development Office. “The fact that Paragon wanted to come in and partner with Hastings is incredible. They recognize the importance of having young attorneys from diverse backgrounds getting the chance to go in-house and have an incredible career experience.”
Chavosh and Quasto were both born in the Middle East – Iran and Iraq respectively – and moved to the Bay Area at a young age. During law school, both pursued interests in the legal side of business and technology through courses, internships, and extracurricular activities.
“From the founding of Paragon, diversity, equity and inclusion have been at the heart of our culture,” said Paragon CEO Trista Engel. “Our hope is that this program will help advance a new generation of strong talent in the legal industry.”
Chavosh, who graduated with a concentration in business law, previously worked as an intern with Box, a cloud-based content management firm. She also worked as a corporate extern with Motive, which builds software for automotive fleet management.
Chavosh said she was excited to win a one-year placement with the financial technology company Affirm through the AiR program. Among its many products, Affirm offers zero-to-low-interest payment options for consumer purchases. “Affirm’s services play an important role for the modern-day shopper by making financing more accessible and approachable,” Chavosh said.
Working with Affirm’s in-house legal team, Chavosh is engaged in a variety of projects – from contract review and negotiation to building out legal playbooks and researching data privacy laws. “I’ve been able to touch on both commercial and privacy matters, and have the opportunity to work cross-functionally not only within various legal teams but also with engineers, product developers, and marketing teams,” she said. “I like that I’m learning new things every day; there’s never a dull moment.”
Quasto started working at Dropbox in August. During law school, Quasto spent a summer interning with a legal tech startup, helping develop a platform that lets users file bad-faith insurance claims with the California Department of Insurance. She also participated in the Social Enterprise and Economic Empowerment Clinic at UC Law SF, where she served as a law clerk counseling nonprofit clients on business formation, intellectual property matters, and contract drafting.
At Dropbox, Quasto said she has collaborated with professionals on multiple contract negotiations, analyzed legal risks, investigated data privacy laws, and worked on various specialized legal issues, including consumer protection and cyber security.
She said, “It’s a one-of-a-kind experience to go in-house, serve one client, understand all of their needs, and cater your legal skills and contributions in a way that helps the overall company flourish and grow.”