EBay will offer a 10-week 1L Summer Legal Internship Program to immerse students at Columbia Law School in a global technology company and how the law applies to it. 

During this internship, students will immerse themselves in a Fortune 500 company and gain first-hand experience working with the issues that the company's in-house team and outside counsel handle in legal, regulatory and public policy issues, according to a Columbia Law School announcement. 

Second-year students who are interested in law and technology will have the opportunity to take part in the experience.

According to a Columbia Law School press release, the eBay internship is part of the Dean's Technology Law Internship Program launched by Gillian Lester, who is the dean of the college. Its aim is to help students build on existing technology law opportunities at the law school.  Alibaba, Cloudflare, Microsoft and Via are also companies that offer similar experiences for internship programs.

During this 10-week program, each student will spend the first five weeks at eBay's legal department in San Jose, California, and then will spend five weeks at one of two eBay partner law firms in San Francisco or Palo Alto.

"We have been working to create additional multidisciplinary opportunities for our students and the eBay partnership is a tremendous kick-off," Columbia Law School Dean Gillian Lester said in the press release. "We hope the internship will be a model for other tech-sector internships and are thrilled to be exploring innovative ways to give our students firsthand experience in law and technology."

With the growing need for legal issues in the digital age, more hands-on experience for law students is imperative to make them more viable candidates coming out of law school.

"(EBay) is excited to partner with Columbia Law School on a pilot internship that will offer a student the unique opportunity to work with both eBay's legal department and one of our outside counsel,” Marie Oh Huber, senior vice president and general counsel at eBay, said. “By offering students work experience in both environments, our hope is that they will gain a deeper exposure to and understanding of technology law, as well as the issues at stake intersecting technology and the legal profession."

Other companies have offered similar programs that help law students gain a more three-dimensional perspective of law and technology. Columbia law student Tim Chen said in the press release that he spent last summer at Alibaba, which is a platform similar to eBay.

"Alibaba is doing incredible things in the way it is connecting the Chinese market to the rest of the world," Chen said. "Technology plays such an immense role in our lives, and the law has a role to play too in balancing various values, including efficiency and security."

Chen also said that it was helpful to work on the “client-side” of legal matters rather than the law firm provider side. Now that eBay is offering a similar opportunity, he recommended that students interested in the crossroads between law and technology attend.

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