Meet Sean Li, Class of 2017
"My USF law degree has given me a great education in the law, and I've been able to immediately put it to use, working on product and privacy counseling and litigation in my current position."
After graduating from USF School of Law, Sean Li passed the bar and landed an in-house counsel position with San Francisco-based tech company Discord, Inc., which makes a chat app aimed at gamers.
What inspired you to pursue a law career?
I joined a tech startup when they were quite small and worked on requests that touched on various legal issues, from copyright takedowns to search warrants. I was interested in the complexity of those issues, and joined the legal team in an operations role to broaden my knowledge. After a few months, my manager (who is now the general counsel), suggested that I go to law school. I wanted to learn more about the law and be able to think through issues the way the lawyers I worked with did, and so applied to USF Law. When I got in, I immediately accepted and have never looked back.
What's the most rewarding part about your work?
The ability to play a part on the cutting edge of technology law and work on issues that impact millions of people. On a day-to-day basis, I'm responsible for trying to balance our users' privacy interests with legitimate law enforcement needs, figuring out what a strong content policy looks like across the entire platform, and being part of the conversation regarding new developments on privacy, surveillance, and emerging technologies.
What was the best part of law school at USF?
The best part was definitely both the variety and depth of electives that were offered, all taught by excellent professors. I was able to learn about topics from entertainment law to public international law to taxation, all of which broadened my understanding of the varied ways the law can be applied. At the same time, I was also able to take classes which were deep dives into my chosen field: First Amendment Law and Media Law with Professor David Greene, the Civil Liberties Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Internet Law and a Data Privacy Externship at a privacy law firm under the mentorship of Associate Dean Susan Freiwald, an expert practitioner and scholar in the field.
How are you using your USF law degree to change the world?
My USF law degree has given me a great education in the law, and I've been able to immediately put it to use, working on product and privacy counseling and litigation in my current position. But more importantly, it has also infused that degree with a responsibility to remember that the decisions that are made impact others who depend on us. I will always remember Professor Maria Ontiveros' last day of Torts class where, after a whirlwind semester of being steeped in deep discussions of tort law, she took a moment to make sure that we understood the power which would be entrusted to us as lawyers, and, of course, the responsibility that always comes with such power.