I entered Loyola in the Fall of 2015 with one goal: pursue IP law to protect companies in the fashion and luxury goods industry. At the time, I was aware that I was hardly the cookie cutter law student. As an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, I studied English and Art History, and I channeled my energy into gaining practical work experience. I wrote press releases and marketing material for companies in the luxury bridal industry, assuming that upon graduation, I would continue to shape my career around these particular experiences.
However, two months following graduation from the University of Michigan, I re-examined my passions, strengths, and options. While I continued to be fascinated by the fashion and luxury goods industry, I wanted a more comprehensive understanding of the industry, and I craved a solution-based position. With the rise in gray market and counterfeit goods, along with “legal” copies of designs, I saw many talented designers struggle to protect the fruit of their labor. I didn’t just want to write about it – I wanted to change it. Writing helped shape brand identity and brought awareness to certain issues, but I shifted gears and sought protection of the industry instead. I applied and was hired as a legal assistant for a metro-Detroit based Intellectual Property law firm. My work there introduced me to the strategic world of brand protection. Everything seemed to click, as I discovered how copyrights, trademarks, and design patents were essential to protect brand images I helped to create in my previous positions.
While I could have targeted the heart of the fashion industry in New York or Los Angeles, or selected a school whose sole purpose was to churn out IP attorneys, I focused my sights on Chicago. I chose Loyola for the unique offering of courses and experiences tailored to develop practical skills, the passionate professors who are willing to help each student develop their own unique story, and the impressive network of alumni whose enthusiasm is fueled by the drive and success of current students.
Loyola offers three exceptionally invaluable IP courses – the IP legal writing course (1L), Professor Ho’s IP Survey course (2L), and the IP Colloquium (2L or 3L). 1L schedules are, for the most part, identical to that of the students sitting to your left and to your right. In applying for post-1L summer jobs, the IP legal writing course provided me with a writing sample that was unique; it was tailored to issues relevant to IP practitioners. This writing sample was a particular point of interest when I interviewed for a 1L summer position at Jockey International, Inc.. The fact that I had coursework that was specifically geared towards IP (and Career Services’ quick responses in looking over my application!) helped me land an in-house legal internship at Jockey that continued as a part-time position into 2L.
During 2L, Professor Ho’s IP survey course (Fall 2016) not only provided me with additional tools to assist in my position at Jockey, but also provided the necessary foundation for the school’s IP Colloquium (Spring 2017). The IP Colloquium enables students to think outside the box. We read academic papers and were given free reign to question renowned IP scholars as they presented us with their own observations and innovative perspectives on issues surrounding IP.
In addition to unique course offerings, Loyola sets itself apart in its ability to develop each student’s personal “story” through opportunities for practical experience, and extends a network of alumni that is willing to invest in the next generation of law students. Professor Ho, Director of Loyola’s IP program, encourages student-alumni interaction through IP networking events hosted at Loyola, and also dedicates her time to connect students to outside events they might be interested in.
Prospective students should understand that Loyola’s IP Department is fueled by passionate, knowledgeable professors who will challenge you intellectually, know you by name, sit down and engage in genuine conversation that runs well past your meeting time, and are willing to connect you to their professional network at the drop of a hat. The passion of Loyola’s professors is what keeps students motivated and focused on their end goals when they’re blinded by the stress of finals, learning how to juggle schoolwork, or overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of their to-do lists. Loyola provides the resources needed for a successful career in IP and more. I am greatly looking forward to leveraging these skills as part of my Summer Associate position at an IP firm in downtown Chicago this summer, one that focuses on clients in the fashion, travel and luxury goods industries.
Written by Andrea Calvert when she was a 3L. Andrea is now at Norvell IP.
Originally posted on 6/14/17 on the Law School Admissions blog.