November 09, 2017

On November 7, 2017, the Law and Technology Students Association, the CUA Women's Law Caucus, and the Office of Career and Professional Development hosted a panel discussion entitled "Women in Tech Law: A Candid Conversation on Careers at the Intersection of Law and Technology."

CUA Law student Kelsie Rutherford (3L) introduced the panelists and moderated the event. Panelists included S. Jenell Trigg '97, of CIPP/US, Lerman Senter PLLC and a former broadcast television sales and marketing executive; Megan Anne Stull '03, counsel for Google Inc., and Delara Derakhshani '11, counsel and tech policy at the Entertainment Software Association.

"Technology is inherently progressive. It is about moving society forward, but it is important to remember that people are still driving the industry. The panelists here with us today are going to speak about working at the intersection of law and technology," Rutherford said.

The panelists discussed what drew them to the field of communications and technology law, the challenges that women lawyers face and how they can overcome these challenges, the importance of not underestimating your skills, networking, and salary negotiations.

"Be sure to follow what you love to do. So much of communications law touches our lives, and that really appealed to me when I took my first wireless course here at CUA Law," Derakhshani said.

"Women and young girls are often deterred in math and science fields. We need to encourage women who love math and science to stay in these fields. If young girls do not see women in leadership or executive positions they will not aspire to do the same. We need to get more women out in front," Trigg said.

"It is important to lift each other up and to have a strong group of mentors. It is also important to have a diverse set of mentors," Derakhshani said.

"You want to be in a position where you say yes to taking risks. Don't be afraid to showcase your achievements on your resume. Go for the job that might be a bit of a reach," Stull said.

The panelists also gave advice regarding about the importance of being genuine, getting involved in extracurricular activities, and following through with these commitments.

"It is important to be genuine. It a small field like tech and telecommunications, your reputation does really precede you," Derakhshani said.

"When you sign up for extracurricular or volunteer activities, do it. Do not say you are going to do it and then not follow through. This can really hurt your reputation," Stull said.

Trigg offered a parting piece of advice to the audience before the panelists took questions: "Dream big, invest in yourself, persevere, take chances, make a difference, and celebrate each step of the journey."

Following the panel, students were invited to speak with the panelists directly.