Entertainment Law Fellow Hones Litigation Experience During Big-Law Turn

Summer Job Diaries
Connor Sletten '21

Connor Sletten ’21 is spending his summer as an associate at DLA Piper, a global law firm that offers practical and creative legal solutions for their clients. The position has given him the opportunity to see and work with the legal issues DLA Piper handles on a day-to-day basis.

Q: HOW DID YOU LAND YOUR SUMMER JOB?

A: Grades and networking were the two biggest factors. Loyola leverages its network really well: Alumni are always available as a resource for aspiring lawyers. As an Entertainment Law Fellow, Professor Grace Parrish paired me with an amazing mentor (and Loyola alum) who ultimately helped me get the job at DLA.

Q: WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING PART OF YOUR JOB?

A:  The people. DLA is such an expansive firm that covers so many areas of legal practice. Everyone I have met has a different story for how they got here and how they started practicing their own specialties. My colleagues have been so kind and welcoming, making me feel like part of the family since Day One.

Q: WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST CHALLENGING ASSIGNMENT THUS FAR?

A: I had to draft a memorandum for a partner on a litigation issue that has very little actual case law/authority available in California. It was challenging connecting the dots of whatever cases I could find on the matter (ranging from unpublished lower court decisions to a California Supreme Court case) and reaching a conclusion that was actually useful to the partner, and answered his question thoroughly.

Q: WHAT NEW LEGAL SKILLS HAVE YOU ACQUIRED DURING YOUR SUMMER JOB?

A: Generally, my research and writing skills are being honed every day. Loyola did a great job preparing me, but being involved in new and current legal issues for partners at a big firm is really improving that aspect of my legal training. Further, I am learning about legal issues (such as depositions) that classes have not yet taught me, as well as how they are applied in real-life practice.

Q: WHAT BIT OF LEGAL KNOWLEDGE HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO DISPLAY?

A: Involved in some bigger transactional matters in the entertainment group, I am realizing how important my Contracts class was. Even though we never reviewed actual contracts in a first year Contracts class, the rules and laws surrounding various contractual issues (such as assignments and delegations, breach, etc.) are extremely important to understand. Additionally, Civil Procedure in general and some of the IP issues I’ve learned about in school, such as fair use in copyright, have been important.

Q: HOW HAS LOYOLA HELPED YOU MAP YOUR CAREER PATH?

A: After working for a handful of years, I came to Loyola with a pretty set goal in mind. Loyola has been very receptive to this and has worked hard to ensure I am connected with the right people to achieve what I want. My career counselor, Jolene Horn, is always available for me. Through the Entertainment Law Fellowship and Loyola faculty (shout-out to Professor John Nockleby, who really champions his students), I have made contacts at various high-profile firms that I would consider myself very lucky to work for one day!