Law student Shenelle Salcido focuses on lifelong learning

Shenelle Salcido has always found herself drawn to academic and intellectual challenges, but growing up in the late 1980s and early 1990s in Utah, she felt she steered away from careers that her parents deemed too masculine.

For part of her life, that meant she never considered law school.

“I think that’s something unique to my generation,” she said. “There are some other women in my class who are about the same age as me and had similar experiences. Later in life we said, ‘You know what? We are smart enough for law school and we can pursue that.’” 

Salcido left her career in music teaching to start law school at the S.J. Quinney College of Law in 2018.

Her naturally curious personality meant she was interested in a number of different areas of law: intellectual property, business law, technology and public interest topped her list. She spent last summer working as an intern at the Harvard Law School Cyberlaw Clinic (based at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society), a position that allowed her to explore her many interests.

“It’s an interesting time to be involved in that area of the law,” Salcido said. “All the technology is so new, and the legal field has some catching up to do. Cyberlaw can really touch on anything, because the internet deals with everything.”

Salcido worked on a variety of cyberlaw projects, from a Twitter defamation case to drafting the terms of service for a website that utilizes artificial intelligence. All of the cases were pro bono cases, featuring nonprofit organizations and burgeoning entrepreneurs who needed legal representation. One of her personal favorite projects involved assisting with the website needs of a nonprofit organization aimed at helping youth be more media literate.

“Just getting real-world application of so many concepts that we talked about during my 1L year was the highlight of the summer for me,” she said. “And even though it was challenging to learn a lot of information about intellectual property law and technology in a very short period of time, I loved being involved in so many interesting projects at once.”

Salcido will return to Boston next summer to work as a summer associate at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo, P.C., a general practice law firm with offices across the world.  She is currently keeping her future career options open.

“Law school has made me realize that I’m never going to be done learning,” she said. “It just opened the floodgates and even when I leave school, that doesn’t mean my learning process is going to stop. Which is part of why law is so interesting to me. I’ve just embarked upon a lifetime of curiosity and engagement.”