Ariel Diamond (’17), an associate attorney in the telecommunications group at the global law firm DLA Piper in Washington, D.C., came to Colorado Law for its dedication to public service and experiential learning opportunities. She went on to serve as editor-in-chief of the Colorado Technology Law Journal and become an active member of the Silicon Flatirons student group, where she found networking connections and experience that continue to play a valuable role in her work today.
Where are you from and why did you decide to attend law school?
I am from Rapid City, South Dakota. I attended Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado, where I majored in English literature and served as the student body vice president and president during my junior and senior years. In those roles, I was responsible for driving campus public policy and engaging with the state legislature. That experience introduced me to the power of writing, law, and advocacy, and I wanted to learn more.
Tell us a little about your work. What do you do, and what might a "typical" work day look like?
I am currently an associate attorney in the telecommunications group at the global law firm DLA Piper in Washington, D.C. My practice touches on a variety of issues including technical and policy implications for 5G and the Internet of Things, international wireless spectrum policy, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory compliance, and wireless license transfers and assignments. I recently helped secure state and federal approvals for T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint. I also work extensively on network resiliency and disaster response policy and compliance issues, including by serving as an alternate member of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee Disaster Response and Recovery Working Group.
On a typical day, I advise telecommunications industry members on regulatory, legislative, and compliance issues at the state and federal levels. The issues typically involve matters before public utility commissions, the FCC, Congress, and the administration. I am also actively involved in pro bono work and represent clients in asylum and other immigration matters.
How did you find your job?
DLA Piper recruited me from the FCC’s Attorney Honors Program, where I worked as an attorney advisor in the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau on a variety of wireless and international spectrum policy and licensing issues.
How did Colorado Law help you in your job search?
While at Colorado Law, I was editor-in-chief of the Colorado Technology Law Journal and an active member of the Silicon Flatirons student group. I also interned with the Office of FCC Chairman Wheeler, a telecommunications advocacy group, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, the Office of Governor Hickenlooper, and an entrepreneurial media company. With each experience, I made valuable connections and developed necessary expertise to secure a position in the FCC’s Attorney Honors Program. The Silicon Flatirons Center and Career Development Office programs and staff were also critical in helping me understand the job market and opportunities for current law students in Colorado and Washington, D.C.
What skills do you utilize on a daily basis and how did your experiences or courses at Colorado Law help you develop these skills?
The best advice I received in law school was to practice legal research and writing. I took that advice seriously and challenged myself to take legal writing courses and participate in activities that would develop those skills. These experiences included Legal Analysis with Professor Amy Griffin, Transactional Drafting with Professor Amy Bauer, the Colorado Technology Law Journal, and a series of hands-on internships.
My coursework has also been extremely valuable to my practice. Colorado Law’s unique collection of communications-related courses is something for which I am still grateful. To name a few, I took Telecommunications Law and Policy, Administrative Law, Antitrust Law and Policy, and Local Government. I would take more today if I could! Colleagues frequently ask me for help on administrative law issues and I still turn to my trusty outline from Professor Bruff’s class.
Please talk a little about "people skills" and relationship building. How have your professional acquaintances (and friends) made a difference in your career?
I started law school with the idea that I wanted to enter the public policy space, and Silicon Flatirons helped me quickly pin down my interest in developing a communications practice. Through that program, I met highly respected attorneys, engineers, and economists, both in Colorado and in Washington, D.C., who taught me about different aspects of the telecommunications field and connected me to job opportunities. Now, I am active in the Federal Communications Bar Association and continue to expand my network of telecommunications colleagues. I also try to stay in touch with classmates and professors from Colorado Law. Our network is vast and there are so many alumni doing amazing things around the country.
What advice would you give to current students with respect to finding a job?
Pursue opportunities and substantive legal areas that interest you. Don’t worry so much about finding the "perfect" job right out of law school, but instead develop a plan to end up where you want to be through a series of career moves over time. Committing to a specific practice area early on really helps. Also, get involved in as many student associations and externships as possible. Looking back, thanks to Silicon Flatirons, I am grateful that I was able to identify telecommunications as my desired practice area in my first year. But also keep an open mind—there are lots of interesting legal jobs out there!
Lastly, mentors are critical to success in any field—it is never too early to start building those relationships. Just reach out!
If you were to recommend Colorado Law to a potential law student, what would you say?
Colorado Law puts its students first. The mix of academic rigor and opportunities for extracurricular activities and leadership roles will allow you to succeed in any field. As an added benefit, the Colorado legal market is bustling and provides great opportunities for students to get involved and build practical experience.
Why did you choose Colorado Law?
Colorado Law’s dedication to public service and hands-on learning opportunities matched my interests and goals for a legal education. I knew it was the right fit for me the moment I walked into admitted student orientation and met the faculty and staff. And now, after meeting lawyers from all around the country and getting to know new legal markets, I am even more grateful for the supportive and dynamic environment that Colorado Law provided for my legal education. Go Buffs!
See more in our Promising Starts series, which highlights recent Colorado Law alumni who have found satisfying, meaningful employment in their first five years after graduation.