WVU Law Cam Viney Pittsburgh Skyline

In the summer of 2019, after his first year in law school, Cam Viney ’21 worked at the firm Cozen O’Conner in Pittsburgh. One day, he emailed two attorneys at the international commercial law firm Reed Smith LLP, a few blocks away. He had met them at the annual Diverse Law Student Reception hosted by the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division. A few weeks later, Viney’s networking initiative had turned into a successful lunch meeting and a job interview. Viney ended up landing a summer associate position at Reed Smith LLP for 2020. At the end of that job, he was offered a full-time position after he graduates in May 2021.

What kind of work did you do as a summer associate at Reed Smith?

Reed Smith did a fantastic job of giving its summer associates quality work and allowing us to see what it’s like being a first-year associate. The firm knew that my preferred practice group was corporate, so they gave me a great deal of corporate assignments. I reviewed and revised transactional documents, drafted private equity fund formation charts and diagrams, and worked on mergers and acquisitions and related ancillary agreements. I also performed due diligence and drafted excels and memoranda relating to multiple domestic and international acquisition deals.

What is something you will take with you from your experience working with Reed Smith?

Although this may sound cliché, my favorite thing about working at RS this summer was the people. Although RS is a global law firm, the attorneys in the Pittsburgh office are a close-knit group. They invest in one another’s lives, assist in finding answers to questions other colleagues possess, and work together to help each other hone their lawyering skills.

Overall, I would say that I walked away from my summer work experience with three Reed Smith tenets: First, take ownership of projects you are given as a junior associate. Second, it is OK to ask questions. Third, organization is your best friend

How did WVU Law help you?

As the saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child” and I think it takes a law school to prepare a law student for a successful legal career. First, the Meredith Career Services Center was a huge help in finding and preparing me. Also, Professor Hollee Temple’s 1L Legal Analysis, Research and Writing course was of vital importance. Professor Bart Cowan’s Business Transaction Drafting course was also highly influential in helping me understand and better grasp some of the corporate assignments I was given as a summer associate. Outside of the classroom, being on West Virginia Law Review has helped me hone my writing and footnote skills a great deal.

Why do you want to work at Reed Smith after graduation?

Reed Smith is the behemoth of the Pittsburgh legal community. That alone brought my attention to the firm — it employs more than 1,500 lawyers in 30 offices throughout the United States, Europe, Middle East and Asia. I knew that I wanted to work there upon graduating because RS has a robust global corporate practice group. But through networking with and talking to RS attorneys, I began to see the inner heart of the firm and its passion to serve clients in and beyond the Pittsburgh community.

After working on intellectually challenging corporate and litigation projects this summer as a law student, and meeting and speaking with many attorneys at RS, I needed to look no further to know that it was the place I want to start and grow my legal career.

What advice would you give to law students who are seeking work opportunities during law school?

To any current and future law students I would say first, get involved. And second, network! I cannot stress the importance of networking. Attorneys want to shower us with wisdom and help prepare us to be champions of the legal profession.

Yes, grades are without a doubt important in any firm’s decision-making process and being involved in extracurriculars and public service is important. However, I would argue that a cheerful, can-do attitude paired with a desire to invest in an attorney’s practice area and the firm is nearly as compelling. Firms want to see an individual involved in his/her law school and who is eager to learn everything possible about the firm’s culture, practice areas, and client relations.

Meet Cam Viney

WVU Law Cam Viney

Viney is from Elkins, West Virginia. He graduated from University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign in 2017 with degrees in Political Science and International Relations. At WVU Law, he is senior notes editor for the West Virginia Law Review, treasurer for the Moot Court Board and Business Law Society, a student attorney in the Taxpayer Advocacy Clinic, and the Republican National Lawyers Association WVU Campus Chapter Founder and President. He is also a member of Black Law Students Association and Public Interest Advocates. As a second-year law student, he worked as an extern with the WVU Office of General Counsel.

Chelsi Baker
Communications Specialist
November 2020