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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Student Profile: Rising 3L Ashli Weiss and Her Dream Summer Gig

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Rising 3L Ashli Weiss is Founder and President of the UC Hastings Fashion Law Society and is working this summer at Louis Vuitton in New York.

Hometown: Born in Hawaii, raised in Redding, CA.

Hobby: My mom bought me a sewing machine to help keep me busy. I would try to design clothes. It was fun. I wasn’t good enough to become a designer, though.

Claim to Fame: Founder and President, UC Hastings Fashion Law Society

Personal Style: I like to recreate great styles I see in magazines. As a teenager, I would go to the thrift store, and alter cool pieces, so that I wasn’t wearing what everyone else was wearing. I wanted to be different. I always had unique belts or accessories.

Teenage Dream: I thought I would own my own retail store.

Initial Professional Plans: M.B.A.

Fashion Update: In undergrad, I took a lot of political science classes, and became intrigued with the law. I was thrilled I could practice intellectual property law without a biology degree.

First Legal Job: In the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, working to stem the flow of counterfeit cash.

Best Summer Gig: The one I have right now. I work in the legal department at Louis Vuitton in New York, right off Madison Avenue. I work on civil enforcement of our global brands.

First NY Field Trip: I had to go to Canal Street to see what I am working against.

Pastimes: I blog. It’s gotten me noticed in the industry. And I read cases every night. To me, it’s fun. I’m also a big runner. I go running along the Hudson.

10012 Digs: I live in Greenwich Village. It’s a great neighborhood and everything is within walking distance--the subway, grocery store, gym, park, you name it. I have my own room in a two-bedroom apartment, and lucked out with a great roomie I found on Craigslist. The only downside is it’s noisy on my street, but I’ve learned to sleep with my headphones on.

What Do You Wear to LV? Everyone asks me this question. I dress professionally, but nothing extravagant. Honestly, as long as you can do the work, they don’t care what you wear.

Manhattan Style: Growing up I didn’t have much money, so I learned to be creative. That creativity has stuck and my go-to stores tend to be vintage shops.

What Do You Love About New York? How it’s nonstop. Everyone is filled with energy, drive, motivation, and each person is very, very smart. The environment challenges me and I love it.

What’s Less Desirable? The weather. First, I was freezing to death, and had to tape up my windows. Then it got really hot. Then it was pouring rain, humid and nasty outside. I am used to the consistent fog and cold of San Francisco.

Daily Fuel: I have a weakness for pizza and cupcakes. Two blocks away there are some amazing gourmet sweets. Molly’s Cupcakes. They are the best cupcakes I’ve ever had. Famous Original Ray’s Pizza, on Seventh Avenue, is pretty good, too. I drink a lot of coffee.

The Absolute Best Part of NY: Knowing that I chose the right profession and meeting all these really great smart IP lawyers.

End Game: I want to get into a top law firm, bring in great clients, build a great reputation, and be able to give my clients great answers. I would eventually love to be top counsel at a design house.

Thoughts on the Industry: It can be a hard industry to get into. It helps to know someone, and have someone who believes in you. I’ve had great mentors. I’ve been meeting all sorts of people in New York, from big-firm lawyers to general counsel for world-famous brands. These people are very smart, very driven. I love it.

Not-So-Hidden-Desire: I want a Louis Vuitton handbag. I am hoping to get one as a treat for myself at the end of my gig. I have an LV laptop case, though. It’s a great brand.

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