Career Paths: Namrata Kang ’21L Nam Kang enjoys solving the puzzles in compliance investigations as a member of the regulatory team at Troutman Pepper.
Namrata Kang ‘21L was born in India but grew up in Richmond, VA. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2014, where she double majored in American Government and Religious Studies. Before attending law school at W&L Law, Nam worked as a corps member for Teach For America in New York City and for Make UP Forever, a subsidiary of LVMH. In law school, Nam was a summer associate at the law firm Troutman Pepper, LLP, where she currently works as an associate in the Regulatory, Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement group based in the Washington, D.C. office. Outside of work, Nam enjoys working out at boutique fitness studios and trying unique and strange/new snacks.
Did you know coming into law school that you wanted to work in Big Law?
Yes and no. Prior to law school, I had some experience working in a business compliance capacity. I was interested in a “business” environment, but I was not sold on Big Law. In law school, especially during 1L and 2L, I explored all different areas of law and paid attention to the kind of classes and topics I liked, which tended to be more in line with business and administrative law.
As a summer associate at Troutman Pepper, I rotated through the practice groups to get a feel for litigation and transactional work. There, I was introduced to the Regulatory, Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement group, which primarily focuses on government investigations and compliance. I loved the work given to me as it was a mix of business and regulatory law and also had aspects of both litigation and transactional work.
What has this last year taught you in your current role?
So many things! During the last year, I learned that law school provides the foundational blocks for how to become a lawyer, but the actual learning really happens on the job. Law school was a great place for me to explore and try different areas of the legal field, especially whether I wanted to go into litigation or transactional fields. However, even as a junior attorney, I am still figuring out exactly what I want to focus on and specialize in. To any current or prospective law student reading this, you do not need to decide that in law school. It’s the on-the-job experience that has really informed me of the work I particularly enjoy, or even dislike.
Senior attorneys (associates and partners) are incredibly understanding and do not expect you to know everything on day one. They know that it’s a learning process. As I do not have a lot of subject matter expertise, I have used the last year as an opportunity to absorb the knowledge from others around me. I try to emulate the experienced attorneys to figure out my own style.
How did you find your current job?
During 1L year, I decided to apply to big law firms for the summer through the Office of Career Strategy (OCS) to try and see if it is what I want to do. OCS also connected me with a few 2Ls and 3Ls who had worked at the different firms, Troutman Pepper being one of them. Everyone had amazing things to say about the culture and the people at Troutman, which gave me the push to apply. Thankfully, I interviewed and loved the firm during my summer internship! I was delighted to have the opportunity to work with them after graduation.
What sort of legal issues do you handle on a day-to-day basis?
I work in the regulatory space, which involves advising and representing clients in regulatory investigations and compliance matters. These involve both federal and state investigations against various businesses. Most commonly, I work with consumer protection statutes focusing on Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts and Practices (UDAAP).
What do you like about your current job?
I find the work to be very interesting and intellectually stimulating. No day is the same, which keeps things exciting. Compliance matters tend to be more like puzzles that need to be solved and investigations are basically the best parts of litigation (no court involvement yet, so no Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or Evidence to worry about) where you negotiate with the government over substantive issues.
More than the work, it’s the people and the culture of the firm that I love! I wanted to find a firm that would be a good fit for my personality and Troutman delivered. Having mentors and teammates who actively root for me, care about me not just professionally but personally, and go out of their way to ensure I am doing well, makes coming to work fun. As a way of giving back, I am involved in a lot of recruiting and mentoring initiatives at the firm. I focus my efforts on promoting more diversity at the firm, which is a passion of mine, and I love that I am surrounded by people who share that goal.
Which W&L classes and/or experiences do you think were most helpful in preparing you for this job?
Substantively, administrative law provided me the foundational knowledge of how agencies and regulatory bodies operate. Legal research, especially advanced legal research, and all classes involving legal writing provided me with the skills to be a good associate. I also found the experiential education opportunities such as the practicums, law journals, and moot court competitions to be very valuable in helping me get comfortable with the habits and mindset of being a lawyer.
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Outside of Work
Solidcore (Reformer Pilates)
All books by Jhumpa Lahiri
Favorite Travel Location
Somewhere I have never been.