Career Paths: Amanda Fisher ’16L
Amanda Fisher is a third-year law student at Washington and Lee University School of Law. Originally from Ashburn, Virginia, she graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2013 where she majored in Finance and Management. While at USC, Amanda served as a University Ambassador and was an active member of her sorority.
After her 1L year, Amanda interned with a tech startup, Main Street Genome in Washington, DC, and served as a research assistant. Amanda spent this past summer in the General Counsel’s office at SPARC, a high tech firm specializing in software development, in Charleston, SC.
At W&L, Amanda is a Law Ambassador, Student Bar Association 3L Vice President, Journal of Energy, Climate, and the Environment staff writer, and a member of the Women’s Law Student Organization and the Powell Lecture Board. Outside of school, Amanda enjoys watching Gamecock football, cooking, traveling, and exploring all that Southwestern Virginia has to offer.
What did you do for work this summer?
I spent the summer working at SPARC, a custom software development contractor, in Charleston, SC. I worked in the Corporate Counsel’s office and experienced a wide variety of legal issues.
How did you find/get this position?
Having gone to undergrad at the University of South Carolina, SPARC was brought to my attention through college classmates living in Charleston. I sent a LinkedIn message to the Head Corporate Counsel inquiring about the potential to intern in the office. After a series of emails and a Skype interview, I secured the position and headed south.
Describe your work experience.
A large percentage of SPARC’s business is government contracting. Thus, I was exposed to that world for the first time. I primarily worked with other government contractors and was solely in charge of negotiating Non-disclosure Agreements and Teaming Agreements with our partners. I also assisted in a number of other steps in the proposal process. A smaller percentage of the business includes commercial undertakings. These relationships had a very different structure and required different agreements.
Apart from the contracts work with company outsiders, we were faced with a number of internal legal issues as well. I was able to experience a mediation with a former client, and an employment dispute. We also conducted an audit of a quasi-Employee Stock Option Plan, for which my Securities Regulation course had been a great introduction.
How do you think this experience will shape the rest of your time at W&L Law?
One of my biggest takeaways of the summer was an understanding of the complexity of the role of General or Corporate Counsel. There are both internal and external people, such as outside counsel, to work with. There are legal concerns for the company both internally and externally. A delicate balance was required to manage all of the issues and people at once. My summer experience has made me more interested in the role of Corporate Counsel and I hope to use my third year at W&L to become more prepared to take on such a role after graduation.