Student Spotlight: Cooper Aspegren ’25

You took part in the Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital Program (EVC), which offers rising 2Ls funding for summer internships at startups led by NYU Law alumni. Tell us about your experience participating in the program this past summer. 

I had a wonderful experience this summer working at Octant, a biotech start-up that combines synthetic biology, genomics, computation, and high-throughput chemistry to develop treatments for complex, rare diseases. During my internship, I reviewed contracts with external organizations and helped manage the company’s safety and compliance matters, receiving terrific training from Operations VP Michelle Wong along the way. I had the chance to speak regularly with Michelle and co-founder Ramsey Homsany ‘00 about their own legal careers and how to make the most of my next two years at NYU Law.  

Cooper Aspegren
Cooper Aspegren

The internship also allowed me to connect with other employees at the company and with NYU Law students and alumni in more informal settings. For example, Ramsey and his wife Vijaya Gadde ‘00 hosted a social gathering and there was also an event at the headquarters of the Andreesen Horowitz venture capital firm at which co-founder Ben Horowitz spoke about his experiences advising startups.

What was your biggest takeaway from this summer internship? How did it inform your career aspirations?

One significant takeaway was to be open to new experiences. The internship did not solely focus on legal matters, so I had the chance to help Octant with managing relationships with different vendors, updating its recruiting practices, and even enhancing the artwork around the office. I enjoyed those experiences and thought they provided not only a terrific way to learn how a start-up like Octant functions, but also helped me get in the mindset of trying out multiple areas of legal practice outside my current interests in startup law and AI-related law.

What first inspired you to attend law school?

In college, I enjoyed a “Legal Reasoning” course I took. Thinking I might like law school, I spoke with some attorneys who recommended working in client services prior to matriculating. I worked in management consulting for several years and supplemented that experience with data science graduate studies, which allowed me to learn more about AI and research how SEC disclosures describe privacy threats. 

I had heard from friends and family members who founded start-ups that they had appreciated the advice their law firms gave them regarding how to manage business and legal risks, and who felt that law school would be an intellectually rigorous and rewarding experience. As a result, I thought it would be worthwhile to combine my prior professional experiences with formal legal training. NYU is not only a terrific law school but also boasts initiatives like the Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Program and Law and Tech Hub that are up my alley and that I hope to explore further over my final two years.

Favorite way to spend a day in New York City?

Running through Central Park and going to a baseball game at Yankee Stadium—bringing a scorecard and keeping score at games has been a fun way to connect with locals.

Posted on September 25, 2023