After working as a senior manager in corporate America for over 10 years, I initially decided to go to law school as an attempt to separate my educational background from my colleagues. I hold an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and a master degree in business administration. My plan was to add the Juris Doctor degree to my tool chest and to apply for jobs as Vice President or Senior Officer at a major corporation. With my engineering degree, it seemed like a natural fit to want to focus my specialty area on Intellectual Property (IP) law and Business law.
Although I had a high level understanding of IP law, and that it is a major asset of most present day companies, I did not have a real appreciation for different areas of specialty within the discipline. For example, I did not know that people with technical degrees such as electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer engineering qualify under the “A standard” to sit for the Patent Bar Examination and to practice Patent Prosecution and Patent Litigation before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
In deciding which law school to attend, I wanted to ensure my non-negotiables were satisfied. First, the school needed to have a strong reputation for producing top lawyers. Second, the law school needed to be located near a major city with a connection to a major legal market. Finally, I wanted to be in an environment where the law school students were competitive but not “cut throat”. In choosing Loyola University Chicago School of Law, I was able to satisfy all of my requirements and to achieve all of my goals.
In addition to taking the standard suit of 1L courses, I was selected to participate with nine other students in a specialized legal writing section focusing solely on cases that involved IP, and all of the writing assignments incorporated the changes of the newly signed America Invents Act. Immediately, we started working on a Trademark Law Office Memo. We then worked on a Copyright Closed Memo and spent the majority of the second semester writing a Trial-Level Brief on the patentability of a new species called a “Hummink” chimera that consisted of human cells and mink animal cells. Needless to say, I was hooked! I was able to combine my thirst for technical knowledge with the intellectually stimulating and challenging study of law. Loyola has a strong reputation for Advocacy, and as a 2L I enrolled in a specialized Appellate Advocacy Section that focused solely on IP Law.
Although the school does not offer a certificate in IP, it offers a selection of IP law classes that rival any school in the country; both faculty and adjunct professors teach these classes. In fact, I have taken specialized IP Law courses in Patent, Copyright, Trademark and Cyber Law. Additionally, the school offers IP classes in Entertainment and Sports Law, Health Law and Art Law.
Annually, Loyola hosts the Patent Law Interview Program that brings over 200 employers to Chicago for two days of nonstop interviews. By participating in the program, I landed a job as first year associate position at one of the major IP boutique law firms in Chicago! Upon graduation, I will receive a Certificate in Advocacy that will allow me to combine my intellectual property knowledge with my desire to be a zealous advocate for my clients inside and outside of the courtroom.
Antwan M. Williams, MBA
7th Circuit Governor-ABA Law Student Division
Juris Doctor Candidate 2014
Questions for Antwan? Email law-admissions [at] luc [dot] edu and we can put you in touch.
To learn more about the Intellectual Property Law Program at Loyola University Chicago, click here.