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Aliah Hasan: Finding Opportunity in an Unexpected Place

Aliah Hasan '22 came to WVU Law because she wants to make a difference in people’s lives.

WVU Law student Aliah Hasan at Argo AI

During her 2L year, Hasan found a unique opportunity to help others in an unexpected setting that opened up new career possibilities. She spent eight months as a part-time law clerk at Argo AI, a high-tech firm based in Pittsburgh.

Argo AI creates the technology, maps and cloud-support infrastructure for self-driving vehicles. It works with automakers to help change the way people commute and ship goods while addressing issues like safety, accessibility, traffic congestion and more.

So where did a law student fit in at Argo AI?

Hasan has prior experience as a court advocate for low-income people. At Argo AI, she helped teams of researchers, engineers, developers and lawyers address compliance standards associated with emerging technology. She also contributed to Argos crucial business documents like its Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance policies.

“I worked in the public interest field before I came to law school, but I didn’t fully realize how much companies thought about public interest issues,” Hasan said. “This experience has opened my eyes to the efforts corporations are making to be good citizens, and that there are opportunities for lawyers to participate in these efforts while working in a private, in-house setting like Argo AI.”

Working at Argo AI has allowed Hasan to hone translatable legal skills. She has contributed legal research and writing to the company’s projects surrounding a variety of international standards and data privacy policies. She has also learned to tailor her legal writing from traditional briefs to other formats like one-pagers, policy outlines, and oral presentation materials for Argo AI’s expert teams.

Even though she does not have a law technology background, Hasan’s work at Argo AI exposed her to a possible career in artificial intelligence. She says that the AI industry will rely on lawyers as it increasingly integrates into the business and legal world, resulting in opportunities for many types of attorneys.

“A lot of my work with Argo AI has focused on working with the team on how best to move forward with releasing their product,” she said. “Being at a company that works with emerging technology brings many new legal issues to address. It forces attorneys in this arena to be creative and tap into their knowledge of other areas of the law in order to shape new policies going forward for this industry.”

This summer, Hasan will spend six weeks interning for Judge Frank W. Volk in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. She will also work for 10 weeks as a fellow at the Women’s Law Project, a nonprofit organization in Pittsburgh that provides free legal services, advocacy and public education on a wide range of women's and gender rights issues. As a Peggy Browning Fellow, Hasan he will conduct legal research, drafting documents and assisting in creating outreach materials while under the direction and supervision and mentorship of experienced attorneys.

“After working in the private sector last summer and during the school year, I wanted to gain other perspectives,” said Hasan. “My summer work experiences give me more opportunity to work on issues that impact society and further my passion for public interest.”

Meet Aliah Hasan

WVU Law student Aliah Hasan

Hasan is from Cleveland, Ohio. She graduated from The Ohio State University in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.

At WVU Law, Hasan is president of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, vice president of the Democratic Law Caucus, a student representative on the DEI Committee and a 1L Mentor for the Women’s Leadership Council. She is a member of the ACLU-WVU Law Chapter and serves on the board of ACLU of West Virginia. She is also treasurer of the Non-Traditional Law Students Association. In fall 2020, Hasan was a Peer Academic Consultant for Professor Joshua Weishart’s Torts course. Last year, she received the 1L Scholarship, Character and Activism Award.

In summer 2020, Hasan worked remotely as an Allegheny County Bar Association 1L Summer Clerk for Littler Mendelson, P.C., a Pittsburgh-based labor and employment law firm. She learned about the internship with Argo AI through her professional network in the Allegheny County Bar Association and applied for it with support from the WVU Law Meredith Career Services Center.

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