IP Alumni Career Paths
How it is that a small law school in New Hampshire can compete with institutions with major resources such as the other top IP ranked law schools, like University of California-Berkeley, Stanford, George Washington, Columbia, Duke and others? One part of the answer is the network of Franklin Pierce Center for IP alumni. With thousands of IP alumni working in more than 80 countries, there are many career paths that UNH Law graduates have pursued. To list just a sampling of the settings in which they work:
- Law firms
- Corporate legal departments
- Corporate management
- Government agencies
- Non-governmental organizations
- Companies providing financial products and services related to intellectual property expert testimony, valuation, investments, risk management and transactions
- Companies that provide patent search technology, portfolio management software, online patent analytics and international patent databases
- Legal publishing
- Startup business
IP Clerkships Lead to Careers
IP related clerkships are available on the federal and state levels, and may be with trial or appellate courts. Franklin Pierce Center for IP students have clerked with many courts that handle IP related cases.
Federal clerkships are often considered the most prestigious, particularly those at the appellate level, and are quite limited in number; accordingly they are the most competitive. Without doubt, a clerkship at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) is the most prestigious position that can lead to great career opportunities. The CAFC is the court of last resort in IP cases – a heartbeat away from Supreme Court review.
What does a judicial clerk do?
Job duties vary by clerkship and by judge, but generally judicial clerks research legal issues and write memorandums and court documents. Clerks may also observe trials, oral arguments, and other judiciary proceedings.
Appellate level clerks do research and more formal writing as they deal with cases after trials are complete; they primarily work in chambers and have little contact with attorneys and parties, if at all.
Trial court clerks, on the other hand, are involved from the filing of lawsuits up to the completion of trial. Trial court clerks are often under stricter time requirements than appellate clerks.
CAFC Clerks: The First Step Down the Road to Success
"Like every other former law clerk that I have ever spoken with, I can easily rate my experience at the Court as clerk to The Honorable Pauline Newman as the best job I ever had. Not only do you get to personally know and work with the judges who are deciding the cutting-edge issues of the day, you get to witness the very best attorneys in the field from all around the country practicing before you. It's an incredible learning experience that cannot be duplicated in either the academic or private sector."
"My clerkship experience with The Honorable Arthur J. Gajarsa has been, by far, the most rewarding experience in my legal career. It has also been the most enjoyable. Aside from invaluable insight into the inner workings of the judicial process that employers covet, you can also establish invaluable personal relationships with co-clerks and judges.These relationships are what I value most from my clerkship experience."
"My clerkship with The Honorable Howard T. Markey was a great learning experience, led to meeting many colleagues that I continue to work with, and opened the door to many opportunities in the profession. I'd have to say that it was the best thing that has ever happened to me in my professional career."
"I loved clerking for The Honorable Giles Sutherland Rich. I have ongoing professional advantages as a member of the ex-clerk fraternity and enjoy lasting friendships with several ex-clerks. I think clerking at the Federal Circuit is by far the best way to start a career in IP law."
Learn more about clerkships through the Career Services Office's Legal Career Tool Kit.
JD Program IP Alumni Stories
- Scott Asmus ‘97 and Andrew Cernota ‘02: Patents Discovered
- George Blundall JD ‘91
- Susan H. Bodine ‘81: Making a Difference: A Lawyer for New York City's Independent Film Industry
- Richard P. Burgoon, Jr. ‘87: Making a Difference: Biopharmaceutical Entrepreneur
- Daniel R. Cahoy ‘98, Susan Colman ‘81, Cynthia Noyes ‘84, Kent J. Rissmiller ‘80, and Anne E. Yaters ‘03: Pierce Law Alumni at the Head of the Classroom
- Julie Cheng JD ‘89: Caring Counsel: A Health Care Veteran Finds a Home at the World's Only Non-profit Pharmaceutical Company
- Nina Ebkar JD ‘02: Corporate Counsel, Legal Affairs, IP, Husqvarna AB Huskvarna, Sweden
- Steven Grossman JD ‘90: Founding Partner, Grossman, Tucker, Perreault and Pfleger, Manchester, NH
- William O. Hennessey JD ‘86: Making a Difference: Forging a Path in Cross-Cultural Education
- Elizabeth Hochberg JD ‘03
- Lela Goren JD ‘99: Bridging Cultures and Continents
- Peter Lando ‘91, Keith F. Noe ‘91, Nicole Palmer ‘05, Sandra Szela Congdon ‘06, and Thomas J.McGinnis ‘06: A Brand New Way of Doing Business
- Steven McCann JD ‘91: Portrait: Steven McCann JD ‘91
- Rajiv Patel JD/MIP ‘95: Partner, Fenwick & West LLP, Mountain View, CA
- Terry L. (Weil) Solomon JD ‘83: Making a Difference: University Counsel at Rockefeller University
- Thomas Q. T. Tsai MIP ‘89/JD ‘91: Portrait: Founding Father of Taiwanese Pierce Law Alumni Association
- Mary Lou Wakimura JD ‘86: Principal, Hamilton, Brook, Smith & Reynolds, Concord, MA
- Richard Wilder JD ‘84: Portrait: Richard Wilder JD ‘84
Graduate IP Program Alumni Stories
- Pooja Dodd LLM ‘02
- Nguyen Nguyet Dung MIP ‘05, Nguyen Mai Linh LLM ‘07, and Hong Shen LLM ‘03: IP In the Global Interest
- Mitsuyoshi Hiratsuka MIP ‘99: Associate Professor of Intellectual Property, Tokyo University of Science Tokyo, Japan
- Hong Shen LLM ‘03 : Shaping Intellectual Property Law in China
- Chaho Jung JD/MIP ‘99: Celebrating Our Global Community
- Baraka Kanyabuhinya LLM ‘06
- Betty J. Kiplagat LLM ‘06: Administrative Legal Officer. Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Nairóbi, Kenya
- Jaya Murthy Josyula MIP ‘07: Patent Liaison, Energy Technology Company, Chevron Corporation, Richmond, CA
- Kamil Valiyev LLM ‘06: Edmund S. Muskie Fellow
- Bing Wang LLM ‘01: Meet the Vice Dean of Tsinghua University School of Law: Bing Wang LLM ‘01