Intellectual Property Law Program
Loyola's School of Law recognizes the growing importance of technology and the emergence of intellectual property and patent law in the global economy. The law school offers a variety of courses focused on these areas of the law, and also enables students to focus on topics of particular interest through independent study projects or research under faculty supervision. In addition to the typical array of intellectual property courses offered to upper-level students, Loyola is among only a few law schools nationwide to provide its first-year students with a Legal Writing section focusing exclusively on intellectual property law. Although specific topics vary by semester, past students have analyzed fact situations in areas such as trademark, copyright, patent, and trade secret law. Loyola's program is unique in using intellectual property problems throughout an entire year, in conjunction with lectures from the Director of the Intellectual Property program. For a student perspective on the benefits of this program, click here.
A Student Centered Approach
Loyola offers a supportive and flexible environment to learn about IP. In particular, rather than designate a list of classes that students should take, Loyola provides individualized counseling with everything from course selection, to resume drafting and career searches. We have helped students interested in a variety of diverse areas, ranging from drafting patent applications, to fashion and entertainment law.
We encourage students to take a balanced approach to their legal education that includes many complementary courses in fields that relate to intellectual property. For example, students enjoy and benefit from taking related classes that involve drafting of contract agreements involving technology, as well as hands-on classes in negotiation and mediation, which apply to all contexts, including intellectual property.
A balanced and long-term educational approach that builds on Loyola’s strengths
We take a long-term view of legal education, trying to prepare students not just for their first job, but also for an entire career. Intellectual Property law is a dynamic area, as a quick glance of newspaper headlines often underscores. What this means from an education perspective is that a law school education alone will never provide the entire basis of legal knowledge for an IP attorney. Rather, law school can at best provide a foundation, and the requisite tools to enable attorneys to be life-long learners in IP and related areas.
A Firm Foundation in the Practice of IP
Loyola’s intellectual property program is led by Professor Cynthia Ho who has been at Loyola in 1997. Prior to joining Loyola’s faculty, she worked for four years at a boutique firm of over 100 attorneys specializing in intellectual property. She presently holds leadership positions in a number of Chicago associations for intellectual property lawyers, such that she can continue to gain insight on the current IP practice. All other full and part time faculty at Loyola similarly have of real world practice that enables them to prepare students for practice.
Strong Curriculum Focusing on IP Research and Writing Classes
The curriculum is strong, but also continually evolving to address needs. Consistent with Loyola’s recently revised curriculum that emphasizes more experiential training that simulates real law practice, an advanced IP writing course was introduced in Fall 2014 to give students more training. With the addition of the new IP writing course, students will have opportunities to focus exclusively on IP writing in every single year of law school. Since writing and research are the crux of what most lawyers do, this should well prepare Loyola students for practice.
Even before the addition of this new class, Loyola has long had great strengths in IP writing and research. In addition to the first year legal writing class focused exclusively on intellectual property, Loyola offers students an opportunity to take an IP writing class focusing on advocacy skills in their second year. In addition, there is an advanced research class focused exclusively on IP and taught by a former partner of the nationally recognized IP firm Brinks Gilson & Lione.
IP opportunities for First Year Students
In addition to the IP legal writing class, Loyola first year students also have the opportunity to take an elective in their very first year that involves or complements IP. Professor Ho teach “Global Access to Medicine: A Patent Perspective,” a class focusing on the impact of patents on global access to medicine that students can take in the Spring of their first year of law school. Alternatively, students in their first year may take a health or business law course to obtain perspective on how intellectual property permeates throughout multiple fields of law.
A Connected Community
Loyola is proud to have supportive alums in addition to supportive faculty and staff. The alums are central to helping those who once stood in their shoes.
In addition, to help build the bridge between Loyola alums and students, we host an annual reception that enables students and alumni to get to know one another. In addition, alums frequently provide insight and encouragement by giving presentations, participating in mentorship programs, and even teaching classes.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out posts from Loyola students and alums in the IP area on the admissions blog to see why they found Loyola a great fit. If you’re interested in learning more, you can check out a tape of a live chat concerning Loyola’s IP program hosted by Professor Ho, Director of Loyola’s IP program, together with a current student and alum.