Christian Morgan is an associate attorney at Norvell IP, LLC in Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from University of Nebraska—Lincoln with high distinction in 2014, he came to Loyola University Chicago School of Law where he discovered a future in intellectual property law.
At Loyola, he was a published author and editor for both the International Law Review and the Annals of Health Law review, as well as a Chicago IP Colloquium Fellow and a member of the Latino Law Student Society. He also externed for the Honorable Sara L. Ellis and with Mintel Group’s in-house IP practice. In addition, he was a research assistant for Professor Cynthia Ho. He provided research on international agreements relating to intellectual property rights including the Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which applies to all countries that are part of the World Trade Organization (a major agreement that most countries are part of) as well as investor-state disputes involving IP (where a foreign company can sue a country under some international agreements).
After graduating cum laude in 2017, Christian joined Norvell IP, where he was also a summer associate. His practice areas include intellectual property enforcement and litigation, trademark and copyright prosecution, domain name disputes, and IP licensing and acquisition agreements. He also is an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago Law School, teaching Advanced Legal Writing for Intellectual Property Litigation and Enforcement.
Why did you choose Loyola for law school?
I chose Loyola because of the people. I did not have any connections to Loyola or Chicago prior to coming to law school, so it was important to me to visit the school before making a decision. Loyola, more than the other schools I visited, felt like the right fit for me, and I met so many welcoming, nice people, including those in the admissions office and other students I met on my tour.
Why did you decide to take coursework in IP?
I was interested in the subject matter generally, but didn’t really know what it was until after I took a few classes. My initial interest came from my 1L property class where we briefly discussed some intellectual property issues. My second semester 1L elective course Global Access to Medicine provided more background and from there my interest in IP kept building as I took more classes and gained more practical experience in that area of the law.
What coursework did you take related to IP?
I took just about all of the IP classes Loyola has to offer: Global Access to Medicine Patent Perspective (Prof. Ho); Intellectual Property (a survey course taught by Prof. Ho); Trademark Seminar (Prof. Norton); Copyright (Prof. Sag); IP Colloquium (Prof. Ho); and Advanced IP Writing (which I now teach with Kara Smith). I also took Cyberlaw (Prof. Das), which touched on a lot of IP issues, and my externship with Mintel Group had an IP focus. Also, although International Law Review and Health Law Review are not strictly IP-related, my articles looked at IP issues. Last, I was Prof. Ho’s research assistant.
Did you participate in any IP events as a student?
Speed mentoring events—they were and are a great way to practice networking skills and to learn about the practice of IP from current attorneys.
How did you get to your current job?
It was a mixture of factors due to unique circumstances for me. My dad passed away while I was in law school, right around the time for applying for OCI (on-campus interviewing), so OCI wasn’t on my mind and I missed the boat for the traditional OCI process. However, Loyola was super flexible in other regards and I felt very supported—another reason I’m glad I chose Loyola.
Although I missed OCI, a summer associate position at my current firm opened up later, and Professor Ho sent me the posting. She recommended that I apply for it and she also connected me to a Loyola alum that was working here at the time. I wouldn’t have seen the job post if it wasn’t for Prof. Ho, and the Loyola alum provided valuable insight to the firm that helped during my interviews.
What does your current legal practice look like?
Lots of writing. Everything from drafting litigation papers (legal documents such as a complaint, a variety of motions, documents related to discovery, etc.) to demand letters, settlement agreements, license or acquisition agreements, legal opinions, and emails to clients and foreign counsel. Research is also a big part of that, especially when it comes to drafting a motion or other kind of litigation-related document.
What extracurricular activity do you think has had the biggest impact on your career?
Externing for a judge and the law reviews. Really anything where you have your writing critically reviewed is crucial. Also, although not an extracurricular, I would encourage students to take Federal Litigation Practice with Judge Virginia Kendall (a Loyola alum). She had a lot of great practical advice, and it is a beneficial class if you want to get into litigation.
If you could go back and give one piece of advice to yourself as a 1L, what would it be?
Trust the process. The school really gives students the framework to be successful, so take advantage of as many opportunities and extracurriculars as possible. I’d also say relax and enjoy it because it only gets more hectic after graduation.
Christian’s Five Favorites:
- Favorite law school class? I’ll go with a non-IP class: Estates
- Favorite restaurant? To order in: Opart Thai – the Tiger Cry is great.
- Favorite vacation spot? I have a special place in my heart for anywhere in South America. Honorable mention: Korea.
- Favorite book/movie/TV show?
Book: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich comes to mind, but I am sure there are a few others.
Movie: Children of Men—wonderfully shot.
TV Show: Curb Your Enthusiasm and Peep Show are up there.
- Favorite way to spend a day off? Currently, I’d say planning my wedding with my fiancé, though I’m not sure I’d consider that a day off.
Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2021