Two WVU Law students spent a month this summer working at the intersection of technology and the law for Google.
Second-year students Jeremy Cook and MacKenzie Milam participated in the tech giant's 2018 Legal Summer Institute, a four-week educational leadership program for underrepresented law students. They spent a week in Silicon Valley attending career development and legal education sessions led by Google’s in-house counsel and were paired with Google attorneys who served as mentors.
“The educational sessions, panels and workshops at Google provided deep insight into the type of work attorneys perform at a company like Google, including mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property work, and privacy issues,” said Cook. “We also had the opportunity to network with a number of top attorneys including Kent Walker, Google's chief legal officer, and David Drummond, chief legal officer of Google’s parent company, Alphabet."
After a week on Google’s campuses in California, Milam and Cook spent the remainder of the program working alongside attorneys at two of the company’s partner law firms.
Milam worked in the Palo Alto, California, office of Mayer Brown LLP, an international firm that serves many of the world’s largest companies. According to Milam, her experience at the firm reinforced her interest in intellectual property law and provided her with valuable work experience in the field.
“Working with Mayer Brown was an incredible opportunity for me to gain experience in intellectual property law and work side-by-side with IP attorneys,” Milam said. “The Legal Summer Institute was a great way for me to network with and learn from experienced IP attorneys that work with some of the most well-known companies in the country. By the end of my first week, I noticed a profound difference in myself, from the way I interacted with colleagues to the mindset I adopted when given a work assignment.”
Cook worked McLean, Virginia, with Hogan Lovells, an international firm focused on diverse corporate, finance, intellectual property, regulatory and litigation issues. There, he learned valuable time management skills that helped him navigate his fast-paced, demanding workload as he worked alongside the firm’s intellectual property and mergers and acquisitions teams.
“The complex matters I worked on at Hogan Lovells and its rigorous deadlines were exhilarating, and I found the work incredibly rewarding,” said Cook. “I want to work at the intersection of innovative technology and the law, so working for a cutting-edge firm like Hogan Lovells has been my goal since my first day of law school. I feel more confident than ever that this is the right career path for me, and I am honored and humbled to have worked for a household name like Google and such a prestigious law firm like Hogan Lovells this early on in my legal education.”
Cook and Milam were among 28 law students selected nationally for Google’s Legal Summer Institute. Participating students came from 23 law schools including University of California, George Washington University, University of Houston, Howard University and the University of Michigan.
West Virginia University was among the only schools to have more than one student accepted in the program.
When they decided to apply for the Legal Summer Institute, WVU Law staff connected Cook and Milam with an alumnus who works at Google — Ola Adekunle, Class of 2007.
Adekunle is a Patent Counsel for Google, based at the firm’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. He was part of the team that successfully launched the Legal Summer Institute as part of Google’s mission to increase the number of historically underrepresented attorneys in the legal profession.
“I was proud to see WVU Law students leave Google at the end of their first week armed with all the information, tools and mentorship needed to succeed at our partner law firms and beyond,” Adekunle said. “They promised to be agents of change, to be a voice to the voiceless, and to join Google in improving diversity, inclusion and equity in the legal profession. I know they will achieve greatness in their careers."