Even as COVID-19 continues to alter the legal landscape, Berkeley Law students are engaged in compelling summer work encompassing a huge range of practice areas. Throughout the summer, we will periodically present first-person accounts from students who are doing intriguing work.
Waen Vejjajiva ’22 was born in Bangkok, Thailand, and lived there for most of her life before moving to the United States for college. She attended Columbia University, where she studied political science and art history. Before law school, she worked as a litigation paralegal in New York City at Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit which advocates for gun control and against gun violence. Her legal interests include data privacy, cybersecurity, and intellectual property.
Below, Vejjajiva describes her summer work experience as a legal associate at Salesforce:
My summer at Salesforce has been incredible. I chose to spend my summer there because I wanted to gain valuable in-house experience at a major tech company.
I hoped to learn about a diverse range of practice areas within Salesforce’s robust legal department, and work alongside its very talented attorneys. Furthermore, I wanted to join a company with strong core values, one that is committed to furthering social change through its everyday work.
The work that I have been doing is both exciting and educational. I have had the opportunity to interact with several different teams on an array of projects.
While working with the products team, I conducted research on potential liability regimes for artificial intelligence (AI) systems. Our human conception of reasonable foreseeability cannot be applied to a robot that operates on a series of programmed algorithms. I learned that the law has much room for growth in the realm of AI, and that this is going to be a very exciting area to practice in over the next few years.
In the field of privacy law, I conducted research on legislative changes in the United States and the European Union/United Kingdom. I also assisted in analyzing the risk of non-compliance for Salesforce products, participated in strategy meetings for ensuring full compliance of all our products, and joined the California Consumer Privacy Act Compliance Team.
Another area I gained significant experience in is commercial contracts. I learned how to negotiate and amend standard customer contracts for Salesforce products.
On the venture capital side, I have been working on a Salesforce Ventures investment, which has given me the opportunity to learn about venture capital financing rounds and the process of growing a company.
Every project has been enriching in its own unique way. The work is very hands-on and demanding. I believe this internship has allowed me to develop skills that will be immensely valuable towards my long-term career.
Additionally, I have been able to work with attorneys around the country and the world. This aspect of the internship has provided me with crucial insight into different legal landscapes. I am confident that the experiences I have gained this summer will help me succeed at the next stage of my career, wherever that may be.
Work aside, the company has done a great job to ensure that us interns were able to get the most out of our virtual internship. Each week, we have been given a range of fun events to attend, including group workouts, cooking classes, trivia night, and even a live performance from Jennifer Hudson.
The culture and community at Salesforce has been fantastic overall. Most importantly, I’ve found excellent mentors in the attorneys I’ve worked with, and formed strong friendships with my fellow legal interns.