With a passion for intellectual property and technology law, the Class of 2015 alum finds her place in cybersecurity consulting.
Born in Sweden, Emelie Kogut (’15) grew up in the US and in France. She attended Columbia University and found her passion in political science and international relations. After graduation, Kogut worked as a paralegal in two law firms in New York and completed an internship in Geneva at International Bridges to Justice, an NGO that provides legal assistance to criminal defendants. “The idea that a lawyer can work either at a firm, NGO, government, or other organization all while providing assistance to those in need was very exciting and liberating to me,” she says.
With her international background and interest in political science, she chose Boston University School of Law for its strong reputation both nationally and abroad, as well as for its stellar faculty. She was also attracted to the small size of the school. “I wanted not only a top-notch education, but also a welcoming and tight-knit community where students could express their interests through students groups and clubs outside of the classroom,” she states.
While at BU Law, Kogut’s interest in intellectual property and cyberlaw grew due to her coursework and the ongoing developments in technology law. “The classes I took with Professors Michael Meurer and Stacey Dogan challenged me to analyze the tensions between law, business, and consumer demands,” she says. “The advancements of the Internet and Internet-connected devices, as well as the global expansion of businesses, present unique cyber challenges to lawyers.”
During her studies at BU Law, Kogut was involved in the International Law Journal, where she served as the managing editor in her third year. “The opportunity to manage our journal’s writing competition was a good introduction to managing projects and teams in my work as a consultant,” she says. She was also able to submit her journal note as a writing sample in her application for her current position at Accenture. The research she conducted for her note prepared her for the skills interview with the company. “I am grateful that BU Law journals require students to embark on the lofty 45-page note assignment, since it allowed me to focus on a particular area of cyber law that I wanted to pursue in my career.”
Kogut now works as a senior analyst in Accenture’s Security Strategy practice in New York City. She was introduced to her current employer through one of her fellow classmates and emphasizes the value of networking to students seeking their first legal job. She also encourages BU Law students to keep an open mind while searching for job opportunities. Though working in consulting had not originally crossed her mind, she says, “I soon recognized that cybersecurity is a fast-moving field that is heavily connected with law and compliance. If I wanted to become a leader in the field, now was the time to jump in since US cybersecurity and privacy laws were still the development stages.” She adds that students interested in consulting should find a specialty that bridges consulting with law and to focus their coursework in order to leverage their expertise in interviews.
Kogut credits her experience at BU Law for preparing her for a career in consulting, as consultants and lawyers require many of the same skills. In her current role, she conducts cybersecurity assessments of her clients by interviewing executives and employees, and then offers recommendations on how to address the company’s security gaps. “My biggest challenge has been learning the technical side of cybersecurity and feeling comfortable discussing technical issues with clients,” she says. “Every day is a learning process, but BU Law’s rigorous curriculum has prepared me well to learn new and complex topics, regardless of the field.”
Reported by Erin Phelps (Questrom’16).