College of Law

Noor Kareem, 3L

Sept. 21, 2021

Noor Kareem

Noor Kareem worked for Strava. The San Francisco-based company builds a mobile app and website that connects a global community of athletes. During her corporate counsel externship, she collaborated with software engineers and others to perfect policies and contracts.

  • Hometown: Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • Class Year: 3L
  • Legal Interest Areas: Intellectual property law, specifically patent law
  • Experiential Learning Opportunity: Corporate Counsel Externship
  • Employer: Strava
  • Experience Timeframe: Summer 2021

Q&A with Noor Kareem

What type of work did you do?
I focused on trademark law, contract law, and policy. This consisted of drafting policies and redrafting contracts. I drafted a policy for using open source software and another for releasing open source software while working with the engineering department to perfect the policy. I created two flowchart diagrams to accompany the policies. I also drafted supplier code of conduct guidelines. I worked on redrafting contracts. Specifically, I revised the company's consultant agreement while also combining, rewording, and removing certain terms and clauses. I also assisted in creating a contract template on software for the company's use.

How did Toledo Law prepare you for this experience?
Toledo Law prepared me for the experience through all the advice we have received from our professors, the externship course taught by Professor Maara Fink, and the networking events advertised by the Professional Development Program. All the faculty at Toledo Law are very wonderful with wanting to help students with whatever they can. Almost anyone and everyone is willing to assist students and give advice to help guide them. This has helped prepare me for my experience because I was able to understand what I was getting into from all the advice and feedback I was getting.

What were the benefits of participating in this experience?
I gained valuable experience and insight into working in-house, and I was able to see what that was like from each attorney's perspective based on their specialty. I also used the knowledge I gained in class on the projects in my externship. For example, I was able to figure out what clauses are missing in a contract to draft an effective, detail-oriented, and enforceable contract. I used what I learned in Contracts II to figure that out, which was really cool. I also did new research on different types of law, such as trademark law, to complete some projects and gained a tremendous amount of knowledge because of this. I was able to create a policy that will be used by anyone using or releasing open source software in the open source community.

How will this experience help you advance your career goals?
I never thought of working in-house prior to this externship. However, after working alongside the in-house attorneys at my externship, I realized this might be something I want to do once I graduate. This experience also allowed me to network with a variety of attorneys and non-attorneys, which is always great because the legal community is actually small. The attorneys gave me a lot of advice and feedback on different types of law I could practice, and this will help me decide what I want to pursue a career in before graduation. I was never exactly sure what type of law I want to practice once I graduate, but this experience really helped narrow that down for me.

Why did you choose Toledo Law?
I chose Toledo Law because it's one of the few law schools in the area that is small enough to cater to each and every student. Because of this, the professors are able to assist almost all the students and are able to create meaningful connections with them as well. I was able to create wonderful relationships with most of my professors, who really became mentors to me. I also chose Toledo Law because of the flexibility of the program. I started my law school journey in the spring as a full-time student while others were able to start part-time. Not many law schools allow students to start in the middle of the school year. The flexibility is wonderful because students are able to balance their personal schedules with their school schedules as well.

What advice do you have for incoming students?
My advice to incoming students is to be confident in yourself. Law school can get overwhelming, but your confidence in yourself is everlasting. It's more important that you do your best rather than try to be the best. And regardless of what happens throughout your law school journey, you deserve to be here!

What are your plans after graduation?
My plans after graduation are to crush the Michigan Bar and work for an engineering company as their in-house counsel or work as a patent attorney in the chemical engineering field. This experience has only affected my plans in the sense that I am more eager than ever to start this journey once I graduate.

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Last Updated: 9/15/21