In their first jobs outside of law school, two UC Hastings graduates work with in-house legal teams to review high-level contracts, investigate legal risks and navigate data privacy laws in the leading tech companies in San Francisco.
Famy Chavosh and Maryam Quasto, both 22-year-old graduates, are spending a full year working at Affirm and Dropbox, respectively, thanks to a new offer through the law school’s Law School Lawyers in Residence (AiR) program.
Inspired by the medical residency model, UC Hastings has for years partnered with small and medium-sized law firms, providing them with new legal talent at a reasonable cost while providing recent graduates with training opportunities and valuable experience.
This year, legal services firm Paragon Legal, as part of its Career Connect program, partnered with UC Hastings to place graduate law students from diverse backgrounds in the in-house legal departments of Bay Area technology companies. Paragon provides flexible interim legal talent to in-house legal departments to support overflow work, special projects, or full-time employee replacements.
“Entry-level in-house positions are very hard to come by, especially in a large company with a large legal department,” said Fairuz Abdullah, director of employer relations at UC’s career development office. Hastings. “The fact that Paragon wanted to come in and partner with Hastings is incredible. They recognize the importance of having young lawyers from diverse backgrounds who have the chance to go in-house and have incredible career experience. .
Both Chavosh and Quasto were born in the Middle East – Iran and Iraq respectively – and moved to the Bay Area at a young age. While in law school, they both pursued their interests in business law and technology through courses, internships, and extracurricular activities.
“Since Paragon’s inception, diversity, equity and inclusion have been at the heart of our culture,” said Trista Engel, CEO of Paragon. “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 at Box, a cloud-based content management company. She also worked as an external at Motive, which develops automotive fleet management software.
Chavosh said she was thrilled to win a one-year internship with fintech firm Affirm through the AiR program. Among its many products, Affirm offers zero or low interest payment options for consumer purchases. “Affirm’s services play an important role for today’s buyer by making financing more accessible and affordable,” Chavosh said.
Working with Affirm’s in-house legal team, Chavosh is engaged in a variety of projects – from reviewing and negotiating contracts to developing legal manuals and researching data privacy laws. “I was able to address both business and privacy matters, and had the opportunity to work cross-functionally not only within various legal teams, but also with engineers, product developers and marketing teams,” she said. “I love learning new things every day; we never get bored.
Quasto started working at Dropbox in August. While in law school, Quasto spent a summer interning at a legal tech startup, helping develop a platform that allows users to file bad faith insurance claims with the California Department of Insurance. She also attended the Social Enterprise and Economic Empowerment Clinic at UC Hastings, where she served as a legal assistant advising nonprofit clients on business formation, intellectual property issues, and contract drafting.
At Dropbox, Quasto said he worked with professionals on several contract negotiations, analyzed legal risks, investigated data privacy laws, and worked on various specialized legal issues, including consumer protection and cybersecurity.
She said, “It’s a unique experience to go in-house, serve a client, understand all of their needs, and respond to your legal skills and contributions in a way that helps the whole business to thrive and develop.