Our annual Student Summer Series presents first-person reflections from a few Berkeley Law students who are engaged in intriguing summer work across a wide swath of practice areas. While only a sampling of the valuable job experience and skill development students gain all over the legal landscape, we hope the series provides a glimpse into the rewarding opportunities they regularly access, often in partnership with our Career Development Office.
Rising 2L Luca Amato hit the ground running in his first year at Berkeley Law, taking part in the Legal Automation Workshop, Berkeley Business Law Journal, Halloum Negotiation Competition, and First Generation Professionals. The incoming chair of Catholics at Berkeley Law, he also became a member of the Advocacy Competitions Program’s Alternative Dispute Resolution team. Amato worked as a paralegal and as a contracts manager before law school. In the latter role, he helped support fast-growing technology companies, negotiate wide-ranging agreements, and ensure compliance with various laws, regulations, and legal frameworks.
Below, Amato discusses the path to his current summer internship at Autodesk, a multinational software corporation whose products and services span architecture, engineering, construction, product design, manufacturing, media, and entertainment:
I went to law school knowing I wanted to practice transactional law. Before Berkeley, I spent several years working as a contract manager in the public sector legal department at Amazon Web Services.
In this role, I supported Amazon’s in-house attorneys in the same way a physician’s assistant would support doctors: I led whatever contract negotiations, compliance actions, and other legal matters they could devolve to a legal professional without a J.D.
This experience ignited my passion for a career in transactional law. Corporate attorneys have the privilege to be stakeholders to the most consequential business decisions. No client comes to an attorney with an easily solved problem and transactional law is no exception.
Every day brings new risks and uncertainties with no clear solution in sight. In the face of that pressure and responsibility, it is incredibly gratifying to take the bull by the horns and deliver clever solutions that both enable the business and protect it from legal risk.
In my first weeks at Autodesk, my fellow interns and I have been lucky to get exposure to many of those problems facing an in-flight business. Our projects have given us table stakes to the corporate legal experience. Whether we’re researching legislation involving the regulation of new technologies or supporting other legal matters, we take ownership of risk and deliver needle-moving answers to our clients.
I owe a debt of gratitude to our school. I would not have had this opportunity but for Berkeley Law. Berkeley’s stellar business law program coupled with its location equidistant to San Francisco and Silicon Valley makes it the best place for a law student to break into a career in corporate law.
With its weekly opportunities to attend lunch-and-learn sessions with local practicing attorneys and a mission-driven Career Development Office, our school is committed to helping its students break into this profession, no matter their background.