Alumni: Mariam Amin

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Mariam Amin

JD 09

Founder, Start It Law


Mariam Amin went to Golden Gate’s law school from 2006 to 2009, in the middle of the worst U.S. recession since the 1930s. It was a good time to be out of the job market – and to have a scholarship. It was also a time when the center of gravity for technology start-ups was moving north, from Silicon Valley to San Francisco. The Golden Gate campus was right in the heart of it. 

“Being in the middle of SOMA was so strategic,” Mariam says. “The people, location and incredible talent made it a crown jewel for start-ups. Everyone I was meeting was doing something exciting with technology.” 

She connected with her professors and students, including a dynamic group of entrepreneurially minded women. Her first week, she met second-year student Katia Bloom, who showed Mariam around as an orientation volunteer. A few years later, Katia gave Mariam a glowing recommendation to work for Tennille Christensen, a well-known technology lawyer from Gunderson who became her greatest mentor. “The female network was really strong,” Mariam says. 

Her law school experience solidified her desire to work with tech entrepreneurs and start-ups. She landed a job at Sequoia Capital, a VC firm that invested in Apple, Google, whatsapp, and Dropbox. She moved on to be in-house counsel at three tech start-ups and then was asked by Christensen to join her firm, Tech Law Garden. After two years there, she was ready to fly solo and founded her own firm, Start It Law. 

Now she’s helping entrepreneurs by applying a lesson about the importance of well-drawn contracts that she learned from Golden Gate Professor Jon Sylvester. “Using contracts to protect a company’s IP – that’s my bread and butter.”

Last year, a client, Graphene Ventures (investors in Snapchat and Lyft), invited her to become an investing partner and she jumped at the chance. Now, between her own firm and her VC work, she needs some help. She’s ready to do what others did for her: hire, and mentor, a young dynamo. Golden Gate grads, take note.