Q+A with Mo Metanat


Morvarid Metanat (“Mo” or “Bahar” to family and friends) worked as part of Orrick’s IP team from 2010-2013 in our Silicon Valley office. After Orrick, Mo joined Pandora in Oakland, CA, where she served as Corporate Counsel and Director, Business Affairs, until last January. Today she is IP Product Counsel at Facebook in Menlo Park, CA.

1. What do you like most about your job?

I review new products and features across Facebook and Instagram to assess IP risk prior to launch. New and developing technology raises some of the most challenging and interesting questions of law. We’re working on some really cool technology, for example, in the Virtual Reality space which was announced at the F8 conference earlier this year. Also, I support multiple product and engineering teams across the Facebook companies, so I have visibility into a wide array of products. It’s pretty exciting to watch everything come together and know that I played a part in bringing a new product or feature to market. It doesn’t hurt that my colleagues are fantastic and brilliant people.

2. What are the challenges of your job that are different from working at a firm?

At a law firm, tasks are broken up into discrete tasks across multiple clients. Once your task is done, you hand it off to the partner or the client and that’s it, you’re off to the next discrete task. Being in-house is different in that you have one client, and have to think about the short-term, discrete task in front of you, and also how that task will inform or impact other issues or areas of the company both today, and in the future. In my case, Facebook is a big company and there is a lot going on, so I think the challenge is making sure I’m in the know about new products and features and out in front of any potential risks. 

3. What’s something you learned at Orrick that is helpful to you now?

My time at Orrick was critical in my development as an attorney. What I appreciate most is that I was given the opportunity to jump right in and get real world, hands-on experience from my very first day –when I was told I was going to trial in 6 months. I took depositions, argued motions, and communicated directly with clients – all as a junior associate.  These opportunities not only helped build my skillset, they built my confidence as a young attorney. During those formative years at Orrick, I learned basic legal concepts and processes, and also learned broader skills, like strategizing, picking and choosing battles, and risk assessment. These are all skills that I continue to hone and apply in my current role. 

4. How do you see the practice of law changing?

There’s been a lot of buzz about Artificial Intelligence and machine-based intelligence lately. I can see a future where lawyers can take advantage of AI or MI to reduce administrative burdens and increase efficiency by allowing them to focus on the more impactful work. In fact, it looks like Orrick has also picked up on this buzz and is getting out in front of this new technology: http://asia.nikkei.com/Tech-Science/Tech/AI-needs-coaching.

5. What are you doing outside of your job that you’re excited about?

My husband and I recently purchased a home, so we’ve been busy with decorating, remodeling, gardening, and all of the other activities that come along with home ownership.  So basically, we get excited about a new coffee table or paint color. Oh, and a puppy – I’m very close to convincing my husband to let get a puppy. That excites me. It’s the little things.