UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law Hosts Inaugural Immersive Classroom Experience In Silicon Valley

Thursday, January 16, 2020

University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law, ranked 5th by US News & World Report for intellectual property (IP) law, continued to innovate legal education by expanding the walls of the classroom and holding its first immersive classroom experience in Silicon Valley in January 2020. 

(PRNewsfoto/University of New Hampshire Fra)In a class taught by Micky Minhas (JD, LLM '97), vice president and chief patent counsel for Microsoft, UNH law students learned about today's IP issues directly from experts in the field. Leaders from Apple, Dolby Laboratories, Fox Entertainment, Google, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Samsung, and Uber, among others, presented on pressing patent, trademark, and copyright challenges their companies face. They spoke candidly with students about outcomes and solutions. 

Minhas, who also serves as the Franklin Pierce Distinguished Professor of Practice at the law school, led 47 students from across the country through readings, coursework and live discussions involving intellectual property issues with smart phone, auto, and tech companies, as well as the legal intricacies that arise through advancements in cloud and artificial technology. 

"As an intellectual property practitioner, I explain these issues to students in every class I teach," said Minhas. "But bringing UNH Franklin Pierce students on campus to Microsoft to hear directly from experts from a number of different companies having different IP strategies gave students insights that I alone cannot provide. My students always have engaging questions, but it was clear to me during our Silicon Valley experience that the students walked away with an even deeper understanding of today's most pressing issues."

"As an intellectual property powerhouse, we have a deep network of influential alumni and experts in the field," according to Megan Carpenter, dean of the law school. "Bringing our classroom to Silicon Valley allowed our students the invaluable opportunity to hear directly from experts in the field and understand the unique challenges they face. This immersive experience also changes the way legal education is delivered. Long gone are days where a lone professor addresses a class. Now we're bringing classrooms to industry, and facilitating a dialogue between students, practitioners, and scholars." 

Advancements in technology have brought about a change in the legal industry and law schools need to adapt to best prepare the next generation of legal scholars and practitioners, Carpenter explains, and UNH is leading the way. The law school debuted the nation's first hybrid juris doctor program in intellectual property, technology, and information law. The one-of-a-kind program allows students to advance their careers in IP while completing most of their coursework online. The law school continually looks for ways to bring practice into the classroom, by connecting students with externships and legal residencies and bringing outside speakers and practitioners to teach students.

"We not only want to see our students succeed in the classroom," said Carpenter, "but more importantly, we want to see our students succeed outside the classroom. We know these experiences will help launch our students' careers and allow them to see the variety of industries and areas of intellectual property law they can practice."

The University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law is currently accepting applications for its fall 2020 residential and hybrid JD programs as well as graduate and certificate programs in intellectual property. For more information, go to https://law.unh.edu/admissions.