I unknowingly have been interested in intellectual property law, specifically copyright law, since I attended dance classes as a child. When I was about 10, I began to wonder why certain songs were chosen and others were not for our annual productions. Why could we perform to Michael Jackson songs while wearing white, sparkly gloves, but we were not allowed to dance to Disney songs from “The Lion King.” Continue reading “Dancing into Intellectual Property Law”
My path to intellectual property began with an interest in healthcare law.
When applying for law schools I considered three things. I wanted to be in Chicago. I wanted a supportive environment like my undergrad experience. Lastly, I wanted a logical place to pursue my healthcare interest.
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:
When I first learned about intellectual property (“IP”) law, my initial impression was that a large portion of IP involves patents and that patent law was only reserved for former science majors. However, my impression was wrong. In the past year, I learned that IP law is not solely focused on patents and that not every aspect of practicing patent law requires a science background.
Let me explain how I learned that and how Loyola Law played a major role in that story.
My path to an interest in intellectual property (IP) started with earning a bachelor’s degree in Genetics. I spent four years learning how complex our genetic code is. Classes in genetics, biology, and chemistry were enough to make my head spin. While I enjoyed learning science, I was always more interested in the real-life applications of the science I was learning. I was most interested in learning about how scientific developments could be used to help people. To explore this interest, I began to learn more about what happens with genetic research outside of a lab. I began to read more about how advancements in genetic are used in day-to-day life.
What I learned was that there are many legal implications to genetic research, especially with biotechnology. This research was my first introduction to the world of patent law.
If you asked me five years ago whether I could picture myself in law school, I probably would have said no. Back then, I was working towards my Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering at University of Notre Dame. I thought I would later pursue a professional engineering license as that is common for civil/environmental design engineers. After graduating from Notre Dame, I worked as an engineer and project manager for a general contractor in Chicago. As a project manager, I would oversee all aspects of a construction project. After two years there, I started to think that maybe I didn’t want to be a professional engineer. I wasn’t enjoying the work a professional engineer does. The only thing was, I didn’t know what other path to take.
[fyoo-zhin] (noun), A process or mechanism of combining two distinct matters into one.
For most of my life, I didn’t consider law school at all. I was interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), fields that I thought had nothing to do with law. In my head, TV-depictions of lawyers like Harvey Specter or Olivia Pope were the only representations of legal work. So basically, I thought attorneys managed million-dollar-deals or put criminals behind bars.
I took a few years off after college to figure out exactly what I wanted to do. I majored in neuroscience but wasn’t interested in pursuing a career in research or medicine. In the meantime, I was a professional dancer for a NHL team, but knew my time as a dancer was limited. Through lucky breaks and following the signs in front of me, I stumbled upon intellectual property (“IP”) law at Loyola.
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.