IPOEF Mentor Program Annual Meeting

Dean Megan Carpenter and Assistant Dean for Career Services Neil Sirota with mentees and mentors at the IPO Annual Meeting.

UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law is excited to announce a partnership with the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) and its Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation (IPOEF) and the launch of a first-in-the-nation joint mentorship program for students. 

“UNH Franklin Pierce has a reputation as a destination law school for students interested in careers in intellectual property,” says Assistant Dean for Career Services Neil Sirota. “We believe it is crucial to expand representation within IP and we intend on taking a leadership role in this endeavor.” 

The primary goal of the program is to provide students from historically underrepresented groups with opportunities to expand their network among IP professionals. The mentorship program is anticipated to serve as a launchpad into IP, providing students with access to people and spaces that would otherwise be difficult for them to navigate.  

“As a leading law school in intellectual property and technology law, we’re playing a preeminent role in diversifying the IP profession,” Dean Megan Carpenter says. “Only 22% of registered patent attorneys and patent agents are women, and only 6.5% are racially diverse. We are grateful to IPO for their partnership, and for sharing our commitment to lead in this space.”

The mentorship program involves pairing each selected UNH Franklin Pierce student with an IPOEF board member. Mentors offer support for students’ career journeys, including introductions to colleagues and advice on specific career paths. IPO also offers mentees complimentary admission to its Annual Meeting. Mentee Youjin Jeong, JD ’25, expressed gratitude for her mentor, Renee Fuller, noting, “She introduced me to her colleagues, who gave me very helpful pieces of advice for my path forward. Through the mentorship program, I am getting closer to my dream that once seemed to be far away.”

Mentor Tina Dorr, Ph.D., a partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP, says the best part of the program so far has been the opportunity to meet many of the UNH Franklin Pierce students in the program. Dorr adds that she would have appreciated a similar opportunity for networking when she was a budding attorney.

“I wish I had been able to participate in such a program when I was a law student,” Dorr says. “Instead, it took me many years of practice to realize that having trusted mentors to share my fears and triumphs with has had the most significant impact on the trajectory of my legal career. I try to share this insight with aspiring and young lawyers as often as I can.”