Breaking into a specialty field can be daunting for law students. Law schools leave little time to focus on specialty areas of the law, and very few schools have significant tracks devoted to specialty fields.
Take for example, antitrust, privacy, and data protection law. These fields are hugely popular right now, both inside and outside of Congressional and regulatory circles. We have seen almost weekly Congressional hearings, federal and state big tech investigations, and states and Congress are both debating baseline privacy legislation. And with the Epic v. Apple battle, even teenagers know basic antitrust terminology.
So how does a student who is interested in antitrust and privacy law break into these fields? What happens if your law school does not offer antitrust or privacy as a specialty or even as a class?
The answer is quite simple: consider joining the ABA Antitrust Law Section as a Law Student Ambassador. I helped create the Antitrust Law Section Law Ambassador Program to assist the next generation of antitrust and data privacy attorneys. Coming from a law school without an antitrust or privacy track, it was difficult for me to network with antitrust and privacy practitioners and build my personal brand.
The Law Ambassador Program gives students those exact opportunities: a safe place to learn, network, and build substantive experience while in law school. I am thankful the section supported the program at its very inception, and I am thankful to the student participants over the last three years, who have taken a proactive step in their professional and personal development.
What is the program?
The ABA Antitrust Law Section Ambassador Program helps aspiring antitrust and data privacy lawyers gain substantive knowledge, receive mentoring, and participate in networking opportunities with a diverse array of practicing lawyers and economists from a variety of legal practices including defense and plaintiff-oriented law firms, state and federal government agencies, academia and other not for profit entities, and companies.
Specifically, the Ambassador Program—free for law student Section members—links students with one of the Section’s 28 substantive committees providing substantive professional development opportunities. These opportunities include:
- writing newsletter articles
- speaking on panels
- organizing career events on campus, and
- contributing to the Section’s content in a variety of ways.
The program also provides mentoring and networking opportunities throughout the entire year, both virtual and in-person.
How the program helps law students
The ABA Antitrust Law Section is the home for all lawyers—and aspiring lawyers—passionate about antitrust and consumer protection law including advertising, marketing, privacy, and data protection. Students can join the ABA Antitrust Law Section for free, and apply for the Law Ambassador Program as an added benefit.
This program has propelled many students’ careers. Former Antitrust Law Section Ambassador and Law Student Division Liaison Andrea Rivers explains how the program has been a major catalyst to her antitrust career:
“I joined the Ambassador program during my second year of law school to better understand what a potential career in antitrust meant,” she said. “Throughout the first year as an ambassador, there were endless networking and volunteer opportunities, and I was a paired with a fantastic mentor. Each position has allowed me to foster great relationships with antitrust and consumer protection attorneys across the United States.
“In a few months, I return to the Section as an attorney-member and continue my leadership work. I am beyond grateful for Svetlana and the ambassador program for helping me find both a career and a sense of community.”
Rita Xia, who served as a Law Student Ambassador from Iowa University, has similar views. “Through the program I was able to participate in the Fall Forum Writing Competition, which not only helped me land two antitrust-related internships in my 3L year but was instrumental to my job search process where I could talk about substantive law with prospective employers,” she said. “I am very excited about my career path in antitrust, but I would not have been able to get to where I am today without the ambassador program.”
Matthew Hayden, a former Law Student Ambassador from Harvard University, credits the Ambassador program with helping to sharpen his antitrust skills while in law school. “I was lucky enough to pen an article alongside various partners, in-house counsel, and associates that was ultimately published,” he said. “Having my first antitrust article published as a 3L was an incredible opportunity and one that wouldn’t have been made available without the ABA Antitrust Law Ambassador Program.
“After graduation from law school and the program, I was subsequently appointed as a Young Lawyer Representative in the Antitrust Section. I believe the experience I gained and the network I built through the ABA Antitrust Law Ambassador Program played a critical part in my appointment, as it helped me sharpen the skills and experiences necessary for the role.”
How to join the program
If you are a student interested in antitrust, privacy, or data protection law, please consider joining the Antitrust Law Section as a student member and applying for Antitrust Law Section’s Student Ambassador Program to help foster your career development and meet some amazing people along the way.