Southwestern Student Completes Prestigious Diversity Fellowship
Thanks to a unique fellowship opportunity, day student Sheila Shah spent the summer between her first and second year of law school working for a prominent law firm and an in-house legal team with a major entertainment company. When Southwestern's Career Services Office emailed students information about a new diversity fellowship offered by Fox Group Legal, Shah knew it was too good to pass up. After an extensive application and interview process, she was one of two law students in Los Angeles selected to participate in this new program.
She spent the first half of the paid fellowship at Alston & Bird, LLP, where she researched and drafted memos related to Fox Intellectual Property issues. Additionally, she worked with the pro-bono committee on various other matters.
"My time at Alston was amazing," said Shah, who is a member of 2011-2012 Law Review. "I can honestly say that all the projects I worked on were interesting and engaging. The most interesting thing I learned at Alston was just how critical strong legal research and writing skills are to one's success at a firm. Learning the substance of the law comes over time. But at this stage in one's career, success seems to hinge on writing, the ability to research efficiently, and the capacity to digest new information quickly. Another skill I learned to hone was time management. I needed to quickly develop a sense of how much work I could take on without sacrificing quality."
During the time she spent at Fox Group Legal, Shah continued to research and write memos about various legal issues for senior attorneys. Working in both settings allowed her to focus on both transactional work and litigation. Shah enjoyed collaborating with people and appreciated the way that everyone connected with the fellowship at Alston and at Fox provided her with the opportunity to learn about their respective legal settings.
She said, "The attorneys and staff at both Alston and Fox really went out of their way to organize social events and lunches where I could learn from people at different stages in their career and in different practice areas. I learned an astonishing amount about the legal profession. Everyone at Fox and Alston really cared about making my experience a positive one."