At St. Thomas University, we are committed to the success of our students inside and outside of the classroom. Our Law School to Career series will feature and celebrate STU Bobcats and their internship and job experiences. Get to know STU Bobcat, Zachary Rich, and about his job experience at Facebook as Lead Counsel on AR/VR.
1. Name: Zachary Rich
2. J.D./ LL.M/ Concentration/ Certificates: JD
3. Graduation Year: 2013
4. Where do your work and what is your title? Facebook, Lead Counsel AR/VR
5. Did you always know you would be pursuing this line of work? I always had a passion for technology and interactive entertainment, but I never knew I could turn that passion into a career. Now that I have, I can look forward to going to work every day. My Clients are all creatives, every day I get such a boost listening to them speak about their passion for their work, it’s truly inspiring.
6. What does a day at work look like? A typical day includes a mix of creative problem solving, client meetings, syncs with other FB legal team members. One thing that is unique about FB is the exposure you get with the leaders of the company. Leadership team members are hosting weekly live stream Q&As throughout the company where they discuss a range of topics and answers questions submitted by the employees.
7. What’s your favorite part about your job? Outside the amazing perks, Facebook offers its employees, working with such a unique and inspiring group of people, and not just the clients, but the legal members I work with are some of the most genuine, creative, and intelligent individuals I’ve worked with.
8. What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them? One of the biggest challenges of working at a company the size of FB is understanding how the company thinks about risk tolerance and adopting that to how you provide legal guidance. It is not about telling your clients they cannot do XYZ, rather it is coming up with creative legal solutions that achieve the same goals, but a different route that possesses less of a legal risk.
9. How does your job connect back to your coursework and extracurricular activities at STU? Two ways. First, my professors at STU instilled into me that no matter what career path I take (firm or in-house) the most important thing about being an attorney is professionalism and treating your client and colleagues with respect. The second and this is more tied to working in-house at a large company, relationship building is key. One of the hardest parts of working in-house is building a relationship with your clients on trust, so they see you as a problem solver rather than a roadblock to their project. At STU, I built lifelong relationships with my classmates, that have not only supported me professionally but even stood next to me on my wedding day
10. What advice do you have for Bobcats that are interested in Corporate Law or a future as Corporate Counsel?
- Take advantage of STU’s clinical and internship programs. These programs are key to gaining early and diverse experience generally not available to most.
- Participate in Pro bono opportunities, similar to #1, giving your time back to the community will expose to a wide range of legal matters people face in their everyday life. This will not only get you some of the best career experience but will also provide you with unique life experiences.
- Never stop learning. The law is consistently evolving and changing every day, for example when I graduated, privacy law, privacy counsels, and product counsels were not traditional areas of practice. Fast forward to 2020, privacy counsel and product counsels are some of the most sought-after attorneys for in-house careers.
- Don’t give up and keep grinding. It’s one of the hardest things to have to say, and even harder for you to hear, but if you are seeking a career in tech being in South Florida will put you at a disadvantage. Don’t give up, there are a ton of great local companies from Yum Brands to Chewy.com in our backyard that desire local talent. Think of each stop on your career path as a stepping stone to the job you desire, and never give up on your dream job.
- Last but one of the most important, be opportunistic. Be open to change, open to leaving Florida, be open to taking a role that’s new to you, never pass up a great opportunity.
11. Describe your job in a GIF?
12. Anything you would like to add, that we did not cover? Don’t be a stranger! If there is a way I can help you in your career whether that’s a referral to an open position at FB, reviewing your resume, or just offering general career advice please reach out to me!
Learn more about how STU Law’s Career Development can help you find the right internship or job for you!
If you’re interested in sharing your internship or job experience with STU News? Reach out to Yamile Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org.