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Law Students

Student Profile: Marie Toto, Southern University Law Center

By Ayo Shittu

Marie Toto

In our Student Profile series, we talk to students about their journey to law school, law school activities and hacks, and career plans. In this edition of the Student Profile series, we chat with Southern University Law Center 3L Marie Toto.

What did you do before law school, and what influenced your decision to go to law school?

I’ve known I wanted to go to law school since my sophomore year of high school. Through my love of documentaries and crime dramas, I grew to admire watching skilled attorneys articulate their cases and effectively persuade. During my undergraduate studies, I was very intentional about majoring in Political Science and minoring in Philosophy. After graduating, I spent two years working as a paralegal in the DC Metropolitan Area to gain real-world experience.

Favorite law school class so far?

My favorite law school class is the Tech and Entrepreneurship Law Clinic I am currently enrolled in. The clinic provides free legal services in connection with trademark and patent law issues, entity formation/structuring, and some regulatory/licensing issues for entrepreneurs, non-profits, and inventors with limited financial resources.

Law School/Career Hack?

Use the course syllabus as a skeletal outline of the topics that will be covered throughout the semester and fill it out as the semester progresses to keep your notes organized.

Which student activities are you involved in?

I am a senior editor on the Journal of International Law, Business, and Policy, an AccesLex Champion, the membership chair of Women in Law, Director of Marketing of the Business, Entrepreneurship, and Creatives Law Association, a member of the Black Law Student Association, and a member of the Intellectual Property Law Association.

What has been your favorite non-class experience in law school?

Attending the International Security Conference & Exposition and the HBCU Technology Law Summit. These conferences were a great opportunity to network with practicing lawyers in my field of interest, especially lawyers of color.

How do you use Hotshot?

I’ve used Hotshot’s short videos to learn about complex contract provisions. Watching the videos has helped me review agreements for my legal internship at Maximus, a government administration and technology company. And the videos have also helped me understand the legal ramifications of including or excluding certain provisions. This understanding comes in handy when I’m drafting contracts as a student attorney at my school’s Tech and Entrepreneurship Law Clinic.

What are your post-grad plans?

I plan on practicing as a cybersecurity and data privacy attorney.

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