Spring Break in Law School

Hi all! Spring break: does it cease to exist after undergrad? NO! I’m settling back in from my spring break trip to California and will be sharing with you my tips to having a successful, stress-free law-school break. Initially, I was nervous to take so much time off from school, but I am glad I did. The warm weather and beautiful beaches were just what I needed to recharge my batteries. Although I brought school books along and had some studying to do, I was able to work it into my trip schedule and take advantage of everything Cali had to offer.

Planning Ahead
If you know you enjoy traveling during spring break, begin planning early. I love traveling and knew that by March I would want to get away from the cold Chicago weather, so in November I started researching places to go. Once I decided on California, I began tentatively planning everything, so I would have a rough estimate of the price. As a student-on-a-budget, I looked for deals on activities and constantly monitored flight prices.

I waited until December/January to buy my flights, because that is when my second semester professors released their syllabi. (I knew that if I had any huge projects due during or right after spring break, I wouldn’t want to go on a trip.) Once I was sure there were no major assignments due, I bought my flights and began the count down to break!

The weekend before I left, I worked hard to get my homework done, giving priority to classes with the biggest books so I wouldn’t have to bring them along. I knew I wouldn’t get it all done before I left, so I made sure carve out a couple of hours each day in California to do school-work. I planned to wake up early and get 2 hours of work done right away. That way, the rest of the day was left for fun.

In Paradise
My trip was AMAZING, I was able to do so many fun activities. It was nice to have most of the day to work on recharging my batteries. The morning homework sessions worked out great! Although admittedly I slept through a couple of sessions, I was able to get some assignments taken care of. It felt good to check things off my “to-do” list and set me up well for my first week back in school. I would recommend taking this approach to spring break, because it allows you to have a completely guilt free trip: you’re not only enjoying yourself, but also getting your assignments done!

About to ride horses through the Hollywood Hills!

Any Regrets?
If I could do it all over, I would only change one thing. Because I was so anxious to take full advantage of my week off school, I stayed in California as long as I could. I scheduled my flight to arrive back in Chicago at 11:00pm on Sunday, leaving me very little time to recuperate (I have a 10:30 am Monday class). I found that this stressed me out. The last day I just wanted to make it to the airport and didn’t take advantage of my remaining time. I think that if I had returned Saturday and left Sunday as a “buffer” day, I would have felt much better. That being said, everything worked out, so if you’re a daredevil: Sunday night return flights are do-able.

Break Away!     
If you enjoy traveling and have the means to do so, don’t let law school stop you. It is absolutely possible to be a responsible student while laying on a beach miles and miles away from campus. At the end of the day, it’s important to focus not only on your grades, but on your mental health as well!

Thanks for reading this week’s blog! If you have any questions about taking vacations during school, please don’t hesitate to reach out. 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 law-admissions@luc.edu with the subject “Ask Maria” and she will make sure to answer them in a future post.

Posted in 1L Life, Advice, Life at Loyola, Maria B., Student Life | Comments Off on Spring Break in Law School

Alumni Spotlight: Janea Hawkins, JD ’13

Janea Hawkins, JD ’13 was recently highlighted in the Washington Lawyer. “Hawkins would be the first in her family to enter law school, attending Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She was drawn to the school for its public interest focus and strong alumni base, and she enjoyed the supportive, tight-knit feel of the school’s community.” For the full article please click here.

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Loyola University Chicago Law + IP = The Perfect Match for Me

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 law-admissions@luc.edu with the subject “Ask Maria” and she will make sure to answer them in a future post.

Posted in 1L Life, Academic, Intellectual Property, Life at Loyola, Maria B., Why Loyola? | Comments Off on Loyola University Chicago Law + IP = The Perfect Match for Me

Alumni Spotlight: Catharine Debelle, JD ’17

Advocating for others
Recent Loyola law graduate Catharine Debelle (JD ’17) reflects upon her rewarding experience working with Loyola’s Health Justice Project.

On a cold Chicago morning in January, Maria (not her real name), a 24-year-old women from Champaign, Illinois, was awarded guardianship of her two younger siblings, a 10-year old girl and a 14-year old boy. The ruling came after Cook County Probate Court Judge Susan Kennedy Sullivan questioned Maria about her ability to take on the great responsibility of caring for her siblings, questioned her brother and sister about how they were doing in school, and asked the eager family members who filled the courtroom if they objected to Maria becoming the legal guardian of the two minors. The moment was touching and emotional.

Gaining experience
“I applied to work as a student attorney in Loyola’s Health Justice Project to strengthen my skills representing clients in court,” said Catharine Debelle (JD ’17) a former student clinician who earned her law degree from Loyola University Chicago this past December. “It was an invaluable experience to work under the supervision of a clinical professor during my last semester of law school to represent Maria. I had represented clients in the past, but never on a case that I managed by myself from start to finish.”

Maria and her siblings lost their mother to a terminal illness two years ago. Since their mother’s death, no one had come forward to obtain custody or guardianship of the young children.

“Maria was a courageous young woman who is five years my junior, but we’ve got so much in common. Both of us have experienced profound loss in our lives but have moved on to grow and thrive in very different ways,” said Debelle.

Learning the process
Maria was referred to the Health Justice Project by medical providers at Erie Family Health Center after they discovered that her younger siblings had no legal guardian to consent to their medical care. The Health Justice Project partners with Erie, a federally-qualified health center that provides services to people in poverty, and LAF, Chicago’s largest provider of legal services to the poor, to identify and resolve social and legal issues that negatively affect the health and well-being of vulnerable populations. As a student attorney with the Health Justice Project, Debelle was assigned to investigate Maria’s case and the guardianship process, and to work on her behalf to obtain the necessary documentation to file for guardianship of her siblings.

Positive outcomes
“Over the course of representation, I grew close with Maria, the children, and Maria’s father and step-mother,” said Debelle. “It’s a special feeling when your clients have confidence in your abilities as both a lawyer and a professional and begin to trust you. The research, meetings, case notes, and preparation, were all about Maria. Going to court was exciting, but the most rewarding part of my experience was helping my client to succeed. Maria is now the proud and empowered legal guardian of her brother and sister—and I am a wiser person and one step closer to becoming a pretty darn good lawyer.”

More Stories.

Posted in Academic, Alumni, Clinics, Experiential Learning, Health Justice Project, Health Law, Life at Loyola, Why Loyola? | Comments Off on Alumni Spotlight: Catharine Debelle, JD ’17

Study locally, act globally


Study locally, act globally

One of the things Alison Davis likes about working internationally is that it’s spontaneous—if you’re interested in getting experience abroad, you need to be flexible while trusting your instincts.

“Work just pops up,” says the third-year law student. “An organization might say, ‘We need somebody now, and you know the language and have the skills.’ A few weeks later, you’re doing the work.” The work Davis found herself performing this summer was consulting on an Ebola and Lassa fever prevention project in Benin. She’d traveled there to join her husband, who’s working in the West African country. Once on the ground, Davis put out feelers to local contacts and those she’d made earlier working for the Peace Corps and the United States government in Burkina Faso and Guinea. In short order, she had the job.

Davis and her colleagues focused on finding the best way to get border patrol agents, health care providers, and community leaders better prepared to quickly respond to health care emergencies in developing countries.

“It put into perspective the realities of global health security initiatives,” she explains. “People crossing the border who might have Ebola or Lassa fever could affect an entire country. It illustrates the urgency for countries to have an effective health care infrastructure because without it, entire villages can perish, and that can happen within months or even weeks.”

Protecting children’s rights

When her summer project ended, Davis wasn’t back at Loyola for very long before heading abroad again. In October, she traveled to Geneva with Katherine Kaufka Walts, the director of Loyola’s Center for the Human Rights of Children (CHRC), to present the center’s research on child labor trafficking to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.

After applying for a University graduate student scholarship with CHRC during her second year of law school, Davis landed a position under Kaufka Walts’s supervision researching the treatment of trafficking victims when they serve as victim-witnesses in criminal justice proceedings. The research served as the foundation for one of several recommendations to the UN committee, which is how Davis came to participate in the closed, confidential presentation. Her role included fielding questions from committee members. “We weren’t just representing children, but also organizations and experts in the field whose research we included in our report— people who’ve been dedicating their lives to the issues we were able to speak on,” says Davis. “There’s a lot of weight to that.”

Kaufka Walts believes Davis’s experience was unique because it allowed Davis to participate in an event that included the world’s experts on children’s rights. “It’s an exceptional opportunity to work on the critical, cutting-edge issue of child trafficking,” she says. “It was also invaluable in that it involved interdisciplinary research, exposure, and engagement with professionals across various disciplines, such as lawyers and social workers, and across sectors, such as nongovernmental organizations, public entities, and faith-based organizations,” adds Kaufka Walts.

“I think it gave Alison a really comprehensive perspective. When it comes to applied, real-world experience, it’s important for students to understand how their work impacts people in the field.”

Role in a war crimes trial

Another student benefiting from hands-on international experience during the summer months was Teresa Dettloff. The 3L worked as a legal intern for UN prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Netherlands. There, she found herself doing research for the final trial brief in the case of Ratko Mladic, a former Serbian general accused of war crimes.

Dettloff was able to observe court proceedings, but the bulk of her work involved digging up research to support the prosecutors’ arguments in the nearly 2,000-page brief. She also worked on a witness credibility project, evaluating whether accounts of witnesses for the defense from the military and prominent families could be trusted. “Being part of a trial that big, I left feeling like I’d done something really important,” states Dettloff, who’d like to make a career of doing international work and finds the contacts she made invaluable. “I met people from all over the world with all types of backgrounds, including people who are prosecutors in their home jurisdictions but for the last six years have been working for this tribunal. It opens so many doors.”

How did Dettloff land that great gig? She tracked the UN’s online job postings for months. In the meantime, she built her credentials by working with Professor James Thuo Gathii, Loyola’s Wing-Tat Lee Chair in International Law, for whom she’d served as a research assistant since her first year of law school. She also worked closely with Professor John Dehn to draft a paper on various aspects of international military law.

“That was probably an important factor—to develop a writing sample tied to the potential job,” she says. “Professor Gathii also wrote me a letter of recommendation and connected me with other Loyola students who’d worked in this field.”

Dettloff has advice for other students with dreams of making a difference globally: Go for it. “I didn’t think I had a shot at getting this job,” she says. “Apply for jobs you’re interested in. The worst that could happen is that you don’t get the job.”

Find more stories.

Posted in Academic, International, Life at Loyola | Comments Off on Study locally, act globally

Fall 2018 Applicants- Special Scholarship and Fellowship Deadline is Today

Our March 1 deadline for special scholarships and fellowships is today. Take a moment to review the list and apply!

  • The Kenneth Adreani Scholarship of the Joseph W. Bernstein Scholarship Fund: Through the generosity of the Feinberg Foundation, a scholarship has been established to assist a full-time entering JD law student.
  • Circle of Advocates Scholarship of the Joseph W. Bernstein Scholarship Fund: This fund was created in 2001 by the Circle of Advocates group to assist full-time JD students in pursuing their legal education. The criteria for the scholarship is that the student have achievements in the areas of debate moot court or mock trial and have demonstrated financial need.
  • Judge William J. Campbell Public Interest Scholarship: This $4,000 renewable scholarship is awarded annually to an entering full-time JD student with proven public interest experience.
  • Mark/Charlene Novak Scholarship: For a student showing achievements in their academic and extra-curricular activities, financial need, and being a member of a trade union, or the son/daughter of a member of a trade union.
  • Martin J. Healy, Jr. Scholarship: A scholarship for a full-time JD student who is the first in their family to receive a college degree.
  • Parrillo CPS Scholarship Fund: Given to an entering student who demonstrated exceptional academic performance. The recipient must also have attended a Chicago Public School for at least two years.
  • Child and Family Law Fellowship: Eight to ten fellowships are awarded annually to full-time entering JD students through a competitive selection process.
  • Health Law Fellowship: The Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy at Loyola University Chicago School of Law offers fellowships to entering students who are interested in health law.
  • Intellectual Property Fellowship: In addition to a monetary scholarship received as IP fellows, recipients are admitted to the specialized IP Legal Writing Section; this provides students with the unusual opportunity to learn about IP during their first year of law school.
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Introducing Maria Black, 1L at Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Enjoying my Brazilian adventure

Hello! My name is Maria Black and I am a 1L at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Starting a new school may seem daunting, but I am here to give you a sneak peak into what my first year looks like to show you that law school is do-able (and dare I say fun). I will be sharing my experiences both in the classroom and out. So, buckle up as we experience the highs and lows of 1L year together!

My roots:
I was born in a small town in Iowa. When I was in 4th grade, my family of four moved to Argentina where we lived until we moved back to Iowa. (Couldn’t stay away from that Iowa corn.) Now that my brother Carlos and I are older, my family has spread across the globe: Carlos is studying at Iowa State University and my parents John and Patricia are teaching in Dubai, UAE. Together we love traveling the world and experiencing as many new things as we can as a family.


In undergrad…:
I went to college at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota and majored in International Relations and Spanish. Outside of school, I began practicing yoga and fell in love with it! My days usually consisted of a morning yoga sculpt session, afternoon class and evenings of homework and scoping out St. Paul’s cool restaurant scene. That being said, some of my favorite college memories are from studying abroad in Salvador, Brazil. I learned Portuguese *though I have since forgotten*and was able to do homework on the beach every day (as you can imagine, I always got so much done!)

Everything else:
In my spare time I love watching The Office and can quote almost every episode—I have yet to find another show that makes me laugh as hard as it does. I have the coolest cat in the world: she’s the best study partner I’ve ever had, hands down. When I’m not on the couch, homework in hand with The Office on in the background, I enjoy hiking and kayaking. My goal during law school (aside from graduating) is to learn how to play the guitar and hit as many Chicago brunch spots as I can.

Pre-law school trip taking on Vancouver rivers

My life motto:
I like to live by the simple: “be nice”—1) because it’s easy to remember and 2) sometimes school and life can get stressful and it is easy to get too focused on yourself. I try to remember that many of us are going through the same things, and sometimes a simple smile can turn someone’s day around. Chances are that people will remember your kindness and return the favor if you’re having a bad day.

Thank you for reading my intro! I can’t wait to share my experiences with you!

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 law-admissions@luc.edu with the subject “Ask Maria” and she will make sure to answer them in a future post.

Posted in 1L Life, Life at Loyola, Maria B., Student Life | Comments Off on Introducing Maria Black, 1L at Loyola University Chicago School of Law

On the Road Again || The Law Admission Staff

Our JD Admission staff would like to invite you to an upcoming event we will be attending. The details are provided below.

Careers in Law Fair, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m
Willey Hall Atrium, West Bank Campus
225 19th Avenue South,
Minneapolis, MN 55455


If you are able to attend the program, please feel free to introduce yourself and learn more about Loyola University Chicago School of Law. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our law school, the curriculum, the student population, the city of Chicago, specialty areas, etc., as well as questions about the admission process.

Please also check out our recruitment calendar for other dates we may be at a location near you.

We look forwarding to meeting you!

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Student Spotlight: Nick Zausch

When Nick Zausch decided to go to law school, he set out on a journey to find the school that was right for him, touring seven schools in four states including Wisconsin, Illinois, Georgia, and Washington, DC.

“I wanted an outstanding legal education, but I also wanted to find a school where I would feel at home—where it would be easy for me to make friends,” said Nicholas Zausch, now a second year law student at Loyola. “Of all the schools I toured, Loyola was the only one that accomplished both. The school is ranked #1 in the country in my area of interest, and when I visited campus, everyone was friendly and genuinely interested in me.”

A Wisconsin native who graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and attended a Jesuit high school in Milwaukee, Zausch says he was drawn to Loyola, in part, because of its strong Jesuit heritage.

“Loyola had the same supportive and collaborative atmosphere I had experienced in high school. When I was finished with my tour, I knew this is where I wanted to be,” he said.

Advocating for children
Prior to attending law school, Zausch worked at City Year Milwaukee, a non-profit Americorps organization that provides tutoring and mentoring services in underserved schools across the United States to help close the achievement gap of at-risk youth. “As a passionate advocate for children, I knew I could do more to help children who face some of life’s greatest challenges,” he said. “Whether it’s working with kids to get them back on the right track after they’ve made a mistake, helping them to escape an abusive home, or offering legal assistance to parents in need—I found my calling to become a lawyer.”

Zausch applied for and was selected to receive a prestigious ChildLaw Fellowship offered by Loyola’s internationally recognized Civitas ChildLaw Center. Over three years in law school he will receive scholarship assistance in exchange for completion of program requirements and a commitment to working in the field of child and family law for at least two years after graduation.

Honing skills outside of the classroom
In addition to his coursework, Zausch is involved in a number of extracurricular activities that have helped him develop his talents, interest, and skills. He is a member of Loyola’s Family Law Moot Court Team, serves as a junior editor of the student-run Children’s Legal Rights Journal, and as president of the school’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Society. He is also the director of outreach for Stand Up for Each Other, a law student-led initiative to address school suspensions of pre-K through high school students in the Chicago area. When he is not at Loyola, he works part time at the Chicago family law firm Berger Schatz.

“I am grateful to have found an outstanding law school that meets my personal needs as well as my professional goals,” said Zausch. “I’ve met incredible people at Loyola who I know will remain lifelong friends. I don’t have a ton of time to hang out after school, but when I do, my 1L classmates are the first people I call.”

More Stories.

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Alumni Spotlight: Daniel H. Shulman, JD ’99

Daniel H. Shulman is currently the Chief IP Counsel at Reynolds Group Holdings Ltd. and FRAM Auto Group and is a Loyola University Chicago School of Law alum. Dan has a math and science background from Northwestern University and had the intention of becoming a physicist. But throughout his schooling, including his 4th grade mock trial over Alice in Wonderland, Dan realized he had a knack for arguing and loved it. After reconsidering his interests, Dan decided that going to graduate school for physics was not his career path. Instead, he came to law school with the intention of becoming a patent lawyer. We recently had the opportunity to talk and ask Dan a few questions on his experience during and after law school in the field of IP.

Why should one choose Loyola University Chicago School of Law?
I can’t speak for other legal markets as I’ve been in Chicago my whole life. But, I can tell you that I don’t believe another law school in this market— and there are a number of very good law schools in Chicago—combines the quality of education with the sense of community that Loyola brings. The sense of camaraderie that is evident among the students during law school is a permanent bond. Chicago is such a great market for lawyers and legal work, that if I wanted to stay here for my whole career (as I did), Loyola was absolutely the right choice.

Tell us about your time at Loyola.
In my first year, I had Dean Kaufman for civil procedure, and he was a phenomenal teacher. He gave useful advice when I was trying to figure out if I was doing law school right. Other than that, first year was learning the basics of law school survival – learning different professors’ personalities, learning rules, etc. I still thought like a math or science student.  So around finals, I realized that my outlines were about 4-5 pages long, while my classmates had 30, 40, 100 page outlines.  The difference was they wrote their outlines in narratives and long text.  I wrote mine like equations, with notations I learned from math and science class, with arrows, and symbols, all to be shorthand for the rules.  People were jealous of my outlines because they were so short, but they couldn’t understand them!  But that was just how my brain worked.  I was part of law journal as the articles editor. I spent most of the time in the law journal office. I did moot court and the IP moot court competition. I also worked at the career services office. Throughout law school, I lived in Evanston, so I took the train every day and I also got married my 1L year, so I had to balance both home life and law school.

Was there anything you wished you would have done differently in law school that you did not realize until you started to practice?
I was lucky with the opportunities I got, so it’s hard to say because everything worked out in the end. Part of the reason is that even though I could have worked harder, and could have been in the library studying all day, I was dedicated to other personal interests that mattered to me. I took advantage of the fact that Loyola is a religion-based institution. The library has a ton of religious books, so I spent lots of free time in the library pursuing other interests of mine, particularly Jewish studies.

How was your job search experience?
To get a job my 1L, I wrote a letter to every single patent firm in the city and sent my resume. I finally had one guy reach out to me and did some patent prosecution work. I learned how to write patent applications that summer. The summer after 2L, I went to work for another small IP firm—this time four lawyers instead of one. I did mostly trademark litigation but I did a complete patent application that eventually issued several years later. That hands-on patent prosecution experience was the most important factor in me getting my first job out of law school. I had ended up taking the patent bar during my 3L year.  I did the Patent Law Interview Program and received an offer from Mayer Brown. The reason I got my first job at Mayer Brown was because of my patent prosecution experience in drafting patent applications.

How do you ensure you stay current with legal trends and continue to develop as an attorney?
In several ways. First, I speak frequently. I sit on panels, give speeches, attend conferences where I interact with peers and other Chief IP Counsels. Second, I read the newly published Federal Circuit cases every morning. They post at 10 a.m. and it takes about thirty minutes. Third, I still manage litigations, so I research the law frequently to make sure what I think is the law is still the current law.

Final words?
Once you get out into your career, especially as an IP lawyer, it’s very often a binary choice. You might be that lawyer who works crazy hours chasing partnership, and sacrifice a better quality of life in my opinion. The other option is to be the kind of lawyer that makes less money and is not considered for partnership right away but understands that trade-off for a decent lifestyle. You can work at the pace you want and know what you are giving up to focus on family. For me, the most important job and the job I’ve always wanted was to be a Dad. I can’t do both exceptionally well, so I had to find that balance and make some sacrifices to live the life I consider happy. Just have your eyes open and know what you want.

Interviewed by: Sneha Nyshadham, Juris Doctor Candidate, May 2020


Posted in Academic, Advice, Alumni, Careers in Law, Intellectual Property, Life at Loyola | Comments Off on Alumni Spotlight: Daniel H. Shulman, JD ’99