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    10.02.18 CUBE Panel Explores Emerging Role of Attorneys in Product Development

    Expert practitioners explored how attorneys across industries, such as technology and consumer goods, are becoming critical to their companies’ product development processes in a panel discussion, “The Emerging Role of Attorneys in Product Development,” sponsored by the Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship (CUBE).

    Moderated by Andrew Rausa ’13, Senior Product & Privacy Counsel at Facebook, who was honored as a Rising Star at this year’s Alumni Association Luncheon, the panel includedAndy Roth, Partner at Cooley LLP, Rachel Vargo, Corporate Counsel at Ultimate Software, Farah Zaman ’13, Senior Global Data Privacy Counsel at Colgate-Palmolive, and Anna Rudawski ’13, Associate at Norton Rose Fulbright.

    “Tech and data have permeated all industries,” said Rausa. “Lawyers can play an important role in bridging the gap between tech and legal.”

    Panelists discussed how they have added value for their clients, embedding themselves with business and technical teams to foster innovation and business goals while navigating a global minefield of evolving and uncertain law and policy.

    Privacy emerged as a key theme. “More people are being drawn into [privacy law], not only because it’s an exciting area and good career move, but because people feel strongly that we’re at an inflection point in time where technology has created issues for us—we’ve created issues—and they’re very difficult to solve,” said Roth, who focuses on privacy and security.

    Rudawski noted that while “big data” can be useful to product development, it also can become a liability if not thoughtfully handled. “A couple of high-profile data breaches and incidents with misuse of data have highlighted the fact that collecting and saving everything isn’t a great idea,” she said. “We’re pushing toward ‘Big Data 2.0,’ or ‘smart data.’ What is the data that’s going to work for you that you can monetize? Ask what you’re trying to do and what data you need.”

    Zaman credited Professor Jonathan Askin and the Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy (BLIP) Clinic for encouraging her to engage more effectively as a lawyer in her company’s business. “Professor Askin has really promoted the idea of ‘Lawyer 2.0’—doing more than just typical lawyerly work in our roles,” she said.

    Rausa was equally effusive: “I was given an opportunity through the BLIP Clinic to get a ton of hands-on experience doing the things that I would actually be doing in practice and get a sense—through the mentoring of Professor Askin and other faculty—that the traditional career path was not the only one you could follow to be successful professionally.”