As a first generation American, daughter of immigrants, my family’s three options for my future were “doctor, lawyer, or engineer”. There was no flexibility, nor was there any other option for me besides going to grad school.
Since my mom has been a constant source of inspiration, it was long assumed that I would follow in her footsteps, she was my hero. Nightly dinner table conversations of the complex surgeries she was part of left me in awe.
I ended up being pre-med for two years, shadowed an endless number of surgeons, and really thought medicine was what I wanted to pursue. At the time though, I had no idea what was ahead for me in law (cue IP).
When asked why I chose to study intellectual property (IP), my most common answer is because of my unconventional wisdom.
Although this is true, it’s also a reference to my alma mater’s catch phrase, “Unconventional Wisdom.” Its true definition was a catch-all for not only describing the quirkiness of our university, but also how people used their unique experiences to solve problems and reach conclusions.
She graduated from Cornell College in Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a minor in Religion before attending Loyola University Chicago School of Law. While at Loyola, she competed on the National Health Law Moot Court Team and the Appellate Lawyers Association Moot Court Team. She wrote for the Annals of Health Law and Journal of Regulatory Compliance. Sarah externed at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and clerked for the Honorable Judge Neil Hartigan in the Court of Claims. She was also a research assistant for Professor Cynthia Ho, who mentored Sarah during her time at Loyola after connecting during a prospective student tour. Sarah then went onto take all of Professor Ho’s IP courses in addition to completing the Advocacy and Health Law certificates. She was also a member of IP Bytes.
We recently spoke about her background, her Loyola experiences, and how IP has influenced her legal career.
I remember the conversation that sent me to law school vividly. I was working in marketing for an arts organization, discussing an upcoming art exhibit with the artist. Of course, the topic of online marketing arose. The conversation went like this:
In April 2020, I was committed to attending a law school that was not Loyola. After making the tuition deposit, however, something didn’t feel right. I began rethinking whether that school would be the best place to spend the next three years. But where would I go?
My goal was to attend a school with a strong IP program. However, I wanted more than a curriculum. I wanted a community, a place that would make me happy when I walked through the doors every day. After making this realization, I scheduled calls with deans, professors, alumni, and students at other law schools to gain insights into their experiences.