First of all, thanks so much for the thread! I want to echo what a previous poster said about wanting to have your life
Now that you've made it as a start-up exec, do you have any suggestions for a current 2L (going to school on the East Coast)? Based on your previous responses, I can certainly start acquainting myself with trade publications and the like. What else would you recommend?
Also, I will be working as a biglaw SA in SF this summer, most likely doing IP lit. and transactional work. Is there any advice you would give to a SA in the Bay Area who wants to hit the ground running in terms of networking?
Lastly, do you mind describing a typical day-at-work at your startup? Are you basically acting as general counsel, or perhaps a mix of several roles? To what extent are you using "legal" skills? Which skills are you using, or forced to learn, that aren't normally developed in law school / big law?
Haven't "made it" yet, but I will say I'm pretty happy with how things are going.
What's your goal? If your objective is to be a BigLaw associate then my advice is probably different than if you're looking to transition quickly to a start-up.
You can probably track me down with a few basic searches. Happy to meet up when you make it out to SF. Otherwise, I'd suggest targeting industry related events that don't cater to lawyers. For games, it'd be things like GDC, Social Games Summit, the GAME Meetup, and events put on by YetiZen. Always go where the lawyers aren't (at least for this type of law, things like antitrust are done differently).
I have a mix of different roles. I handle Business Development, Legal, Operations and Public Relations. I'm basically the business guy on a team of engineers. My days are generally a mix of meetings, negotiations, dotting i's and crossing t's and playing some video games with the team.
I use my legal skills very often. It is particularly relevant in negotiations where I want to shape the business terms to maximize financial upside while minimizing risk exposure. I also take a look at all contracts before they're signed and manage outside counsel.
Law school teaches you very little about the practice of law. Just a fact of life. Skills that I found important that weren't particularly emphasized in law school: being able to come to a definitive answer (client's don't want you to get to maybe), networking, ability to work within a value system (don't spend 30k on a 5k deal), and, perhaps most importantly, being able to distill complex legal and statutory frameworks into very simple suggestions (Privacy: Don't send their stuff to other people. But if you have to, tell them about it.)