To celebrate the 10th year of the Master of Science in Law (MSL) program—where STEM, law, and business converge—Northwestern Pritzker Law is highlighting alumni of the program from each graduating class since its 2014 launch.
The Master of Science in Law was created at a moment of tremendous technological and workforce change, when professionals from diverse fields were being called upon to interact with increasingly complex issues involving regulation, product development, privacy, use of data, contracts, business development, entrepreneurship, and more. The Law School recognized that STEM professionals in particular were often in the thick of these intersectional legal and business issues, but few had the training to address and respond to these challenges.
The launch of the MSL addressed this gap in the market, and the program has grown dramatically over the years – there are now approximately 200 students enrolled in the program annually. With both a full-time and part-time option, and the addition five years ago of an online format that caters to mid-career professionals, the MSL has sent more than 600 well-trained, interdisciplinary professionals into the market.
Following the interests of its students, and always looking to be on the cutting edge, the MSL program now offers more than 80 classes focused at the intersection of law, business, and STEM – including foundational classes in contracts, regulation, business formation, securities, and intellectual property, and an interesting assortment of specialized electives in such areas as fintech, privacy, data security, biotech, food, AI, forensic science, environmental law, IP strategy and management, and many more.
This week we are highlighting Cheyenne Cazaubon (MSL ‘19). She is currently part of the Business Development, Strategy and Ventures Team at Microsoft, working on enterprise supply chain management and sustainability. We spoke with Cazaubon about the MSL program, what she’s learned since graduating, and her advice for future MSL candidates.
The Many Hats of an MSL Graduate
Engineer. Entrepreneur. Business strategist. Artist. Law school graduate.
Cheyenne Cazaubon has worn a lot of hats throughout the years, but thanks to her MSL degree, she’s been able to wear many of them simultaneously – particularly during her time with Microsoft.
With a background in engineering and an MSL degree to boot, Cazaubon has the training, knowledge, and skills to work cross-functionally with many departments and stakeholders from across the entire Microsoft organization, including engineering, legal, marketing and finance teams. She’s also worked on a variety of solution areas herself.
“I started on the search side of the business in Bing Monetization. Then I moved over to industry clouds where I covered agriculture, sustainability, and energy. And now I’m working in business applications on supply chain,” she says.
Currently, as part of the Business Development, Strategy and Ventures Team at Microsoft, Cazaubon works closely with the company’s product team to identify portfolio gaps and identify new IP and partnership opportunities.
“What I love is that it’s a cross-functional role,” she says. “I’m able to leverage the IP courses I took in the MSL program [to work on] those types of partnerships and on deal making, going through the negotiation, and setting the terms.”
Cazaubon’s ability to leverage her legal knowledge in her role is just one example of how she’s been able to make the most of her MSL experience. During her time at Northwestern Pritzker Law, she was an active member of her cohort, representing the MSL program in various Law School organizations, including the IP Law Society and the Women’s Leadership Coalition. She also participated in a trip to Israel through iTrek, a program that provides travel opportunities for the broader law school community.
“I would recommend to anyone doing the program to take advantage of those opportunities,” she said.
From Working Student to Company Founder
When Cazaubon entered the MSL program, she was a full-time student, simultaneously participating in a business development internship with energy giant GE. And yet, she still managed to find space to launch a health tech startup with two of her cohort peers – a project born from the cross-disciplinary and collaborative Entrepreneurship Lab course.
Upon completion of the Entrepreneurship Lab, Cazaubon and her classmates continued to develop their startup idea – a women-focused, AI platform called Edith Technologies, LLC, that specializes in improving pregnancy outcomes – and began focusing on next steps. Not only did they launch the company, but they were selected as semifinalists for VentureCat, Northwestern University’s prestigious business plan competition for student founders.
On top of that, she also participated in Northwestern’s Garage Tinker program, a mentorship and workshop program for university students who are exploring startup ideas, and the Garage Propel Program for women student founders.
Tips for Future MSLs
The idea of having so many pursuits while tackling law school may be intimidating for some, but Cazaubon has several tips to help current and future MSLs make the most of the program:
Protect your time
Cazaubon has been praised for her philosophy around time management before. Her advice: Realize and understand your priorities and then protect and manage your time from there.
Visit the school
Cazaubon praises her time visiting Pritzker Law and said it played a big role in her graduate school decision-making process. “I had a wonderful experience meeting the faculty, seeing the school, and getting a better understanding of the curriculum.”
Explore outside your lane
One big part of the MSL program is the range of opportunities across disciplines – and Cazaubon recognizes that. She recommends that students take the plunge to try courses outside of their chosen track.
“You may not know if there is a new topic or area of interest that could be sparked from that,” she says. She also recommends networking with the broader law school community and participating in activities that intersect with other areas of the law school.
A Life-long Experience
With her graduation four years behind her, Cazaubon continues to make the MSL an important part of her life. She continues to be active with the Propel Program as an alum and hosted this year’s cohort on the Microsoft campus during the program’s first annual trip to Seattle.
She is also part of the Alumni Board working to organize the program’s 10-year anniversary celebration, which will take place on October 27 and 28, 2023. For more information about the reunion, visit www.reunion.law.northwestern.edu.