Hi all! This week we’re starting with the basics as I narrate how my decision to go to Loyola lead to my interest in intellectual property (IP).
Why I chose Loyola University Chicago School of Law
While choosing law schools, I focused on the present and the future. I was looking for a school that I would enjoy attending every day, one with inspiring people that would make the trying times bearable. However, I was also thinking about my future career and finding a school that would set me up for success. At Loyola, I found the perfect hybrid.
Loyola was the first school I visited. I attended an admitted student day and was able to meet faculty and students. Everyone was eager to share their experiences and answer my questions, it made me feel at home. After every subsequent school tour, I found myself comparing the experience with my time at Loyola. In the meantime, I kept researching law schools, focusing on ones that had strong alumni-relations and job placement statistics. When it came time to make my decision, Loyola was the school that passed my balancing test and I made the decision to become a Rambler.
I am now in my second semester at Loyola and can confidentially say I made the right decision. I enjoy my classes and professors and am challenged to push myself every day. Additionally, I was blown away at how attentive and helpful my class tutors were. However, these were things I expected when I decided to attend the school. Loyola has exceeded my expectations, because it introduced me to the wonderful world of IP.
Early Exposure to IP
Like many new law students, I had no idea what area of law I wanted to pursue when I enrolled. My plan was to take a variety of classes (after the generally mandatory first year curriculum at all law schools) and pursue whichever one I liked the most. What worried me was that with that strategy, finding my “thing” would take a long time. Thankfully, one email from Loyola put me on the right track.
During the summer before I began school, I received an email from Loyola about their specialized legal writing programs. Through this program, students can get exposure to different areas of the law (like IP, as well as child law, health law, and public interest). At the time I had never heard of IP, so before applying I did some research, and I liked what I saw. I applied, was accepted, and am in my second semester of legal writing, fascinated by IP.
Loyola’s specialized legal writing program is unique and offers students a sneak peak into areas of law that most 1Ls don’t get exposure to. In my IP legal writing class, I have written patent and copyright legal memorandums and am currently working on a trademark trial brief. In addition, the problems are designated to be accessible for 1Ls without prior knowledge of IP, and without any prior scientific or other background. Because of this early exposure, I realized I truly enjoyed IP. I decided I wanted to learn more and chose to enroll in a second semester elective (another cool part of Loyola is taking a 1L elective!) that focused on patents, called: Global Access to Medicine: A Patent Perspective. In this small discussion-based class, we are learning about how patent protection on drugs impacts global access to affordable medicine. These classes have been a great way to put a spin on “run-of-the-mill” 1L classes. Furthermore, at the job interviews I’ve had so far, every interviewer has expressed how impressed they are that I have had so much exposure to IP as a 1L.
Supportive Faculty and Endless Opportunities
As a first-generation law student, I was worried about not having the resources to make important decisions concerning my future in the law. Thankfully, at Loyola I have found unwavering support and valuable resources to help me make the right decisions for my career. All of my professors have expressed willingness to go beyond the classroom and help students navigate law school. Furthermore, when it comes to my future in IP, Loyola’s intellectual property team has been one of the most valuable parts of my experiences at school.
Specifically, Professor Cynthia Ho, who leads Loyola’s intellectual property program, has been an amazing resource since the first day I met her. She is supportive, well-connected, and dedicated to her students. Professor Ho not only answers my every law-school related question, but also forwards countless opportunities to me so I can further my IP exposure in the real world. These opportunities have included speed mentoring events, IP specific lectures, and IP conferences easily accessible within Chicago. These experiences have connected me to the IP world, and have been a refreshing way to learn more about intellectual property outside the classroom.
What can Law School do for You?
Choosing a law school is a very personal decision. I did a lot of research and visited every school I could before I made my choice. I urge you to do your research, visit schools. And once you have chosen a school, take chances. If I had not taken on the challenge of enrolling in a specialized legal writing class, I would have yet to be exposed to intellectual property, an area of law I can’t get enough of.
Thank you for reading this week’s blog post! Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any law school or IP related questions. Until next time—
Maria Black is a 1L at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She is blogging about the journey of her first year of law school. To see all posts written by her search the Maria B. category on the right hand side.
Questions for Maria? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Ask Maria” and she will make sure to answer them in a future post.