Peter A Allard School of Law

Corporate Counsel Externship Mentor Profile: Karim Amlani

Karim Amlani

Karim Amlani is a Senior Director, Legal at Hootsuite. His practice is principally focused on three main areas: Corporate (including governance, corporate structure, equity compensation and financings/acquisitions); Product (including compliance of Hootsuite's product with social network terms and Hootsuite's ecosystem of partners); and Procurement (how people at Hootsuite buy products/services). Prior to joining Hootsuite, Karim practiced in the Capital Markets and Information Technology groups at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. Hootsuite participated in the Corporate Counsel Externship during the 2018/2019 academic term.

Why did Hootsuite decide to participate in Externship?
Hootsuite's culture is built on learning and development. Employees are challenged every day to try new things, innovate, learn from their mistakes and continually evolve their skillset. These are all things that students are great at, so participating in the externship felt like a natural fit. At the same time, students bring new perspectives and a lot of energy, so we're always excited to welcome students to the team.               


What type of legal and non-legal work did the student do during the Externship?
On the legal side, our student undertook a broad range of tasks, including contract drafting, learning the ins and outs of our corporate and governance structure, summarizing data licensing contracts, reviewing our intellectual property strategy, doing some light transactional work and helping improve processes. On the non-legal side, the biggest experience our student got was to have a front-row seat to see how an in-house team delivers practical legal advice supporting (rather than blocking) the business's objectives. This included sitting in on meetings, helping weigh business considerations and helping craft messaging to stakeholders. By the end of the Externship, our student was getting right into the action, and even got a great shout-out from one of our business partners for materially improving an internal process!

What is your favourite part of your job? 
Having the privilege of learning new things, all day every day. Earlier in my career, I never really appreciated how rewarding it is to get outside my comfort zone, take on challenges and learn; now it's what keeps me excited about coming into the office. As lawyers, we work on some of the toughest and most complex issues our clients face, so we're constantly having to learn and adapt - that's pretty cool.

Do you have any advice for law students who are considering a future career as in-house counsel?
The thing I love about being in-house is that I get to work for one client all the time - I'm personally invested in the success of Hootsuite, and I get to use my legal skills to help Hootsuite succeed. In terms of advice, I would say work for a company that you can get excited about, and then roll up your sleeves, take ownership of what you're working on and get stuff done - that will take you far.

Do you think the Externship may have an impact on graduates choosing to practice as in-house legal counsel?
I certainly hope so. I think most law students are aware of in-house being a career option, and perhaps some private practice associates look to in-house practice as a future career aspiration, but hopefully the externship can give students a clearer picture of what it's actually like on the inside, both the good and the bad.

Last Updated: May 2019

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