Lawyers who specialize in the booming field of intellectual property focus on the overlap of ingenuity and the law. Whether they’re protecting the work of an artist, medical researcher, or mechanical engineer, intellectual property (IP) lawyers are at the forefront of virtually every industry, making them in-demand legal professionals. IP lawyers also report being highly satisfied in their work.
There is an impressive array of career paths available to students who study intellectual property law, and New England Law students explore them all. Here you’ll learn about the many contexts in which an IP lawyer works, including dispute resolution, clearance searching, IP acquisition, litigation, planning, and transactional work.
Students also benefit from our comprehensive selection of intellectual property courses and on-the-ground IP field placements. They intern and go on to work at top IP law firms in Boston and across the country.
What Do Intellectual Property Lawyers Do?
Intellectual property law is a uniquely exciting legal specialty, in part, because it covers such a wide range of human endeavor. From recipes protected by trade secret laws to your favorite pop song to the latest technology, the purview of intellectual property is extremely broad. Accordingly, IP lawyers must be well-versed in both overarching intellectual property law and the specifics of their particular industry.
IP lawyers play a variety of critical roles related to the protection of intellectual property. In some capacities they act as advocates representing clients in court proceedings. They also serve as advisors, counseling clients about intellectual property matters. And they are integral to researching and preparing critical documents.
“Intellectual property has become increasingly central to a wide array of clients, from disruptive startups and new media artists to social media and industrial giants. This elevated importance has generated new waves of legal challenges and disputes, making IP one of the most dynamic and high-demand areas of the law today.” —Professor Peter J. Karol, Certificate Program Director
Related: Everything You Need to Know About Becoming an Intellectual Property Lawyer.
Experiential Learning Opportunities
Students in our Intellectual Property Law certificate program must meet an experiential learning requirement. Some of the hands-on learning experiences available to them include:
Intellectual Property Law Courses
This certificate is awarded in conjunction with our JD degree. In addition to their foundational legal coursework, students pursuing a certificate in Intellectual Property Law can choose among many exciting elective classes to meet their credit requirements. These may include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Copyright Law
- Current Issues in Intellectual Property
- Entertainment Law
- Intellectual Property
- Intellectual Property Litigation
- Law and the Visual Arts
- Patent Law
- Perspectives: Trade Secrets
- Sports Law
- Trademarks and Unfair Competition
Intellectual Property Law Alumni Profile
“If you are considering specializing in IP law, New England Law is the best place to do it,” says Amelia Pennington ’18. “I highly recommend the program.”
Now an associate at Morgan Lewis focusing on complex commercial litigation and intellectual property (IP) disputes, Pennington credits her New England Law professors, practical training, and networking opportunities for helping her land a job with the prestigious firm. She was recruited several months before graduating.
“New England Law’s IP program certainly prepared me for practice,” she says. “In particular, Professor Karol’s and Professor Singer’s concerted efforts to incorporate practice tips and training into their courses were invaluable. I still use Professor Karol’s tips on a daily basis!”
Professor Peter Karol also encouraged Pennington to consider an internship with an IP firm, leading her to complete a Summer Fellowship with Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP after her first year at New England Law. The experience inspired Pennington to network extensively and build her connections inside and outside the IP field.
“I advise students to network as much as possible while in law school. The connections I made through the Intellectual Property Law Association and my participation in Boston Patent Law Association events served me well,” Pennington says. “I also tell students not to forget that your classmates become your network. I still call a fellow practicing IP attorney from my New England Law class to talk through tough concepts.”
Intellectual Property Law Faculty
When you graduate from New England Law with a certificate in Intellectual Property Law, you will:
- Be prepared to work in one or more areas of the IP legal profession, including transactional and litigation settings.
- Have hands-on experience related to your professional goals and interests.
- Understand the roles of the IP lawyer in various contexts, such as dispute resolution, clearance searching, IP acquisition, litigation, planning, and transactional work.
- Know your professional and ethical responsibilities to your clients and the IP system—and appreciate the power of the law and your ability to affect the lives and well-being of others.
- Have strong foundational lawyering skills, such as legal research and analysis, problem-solving, and communicating effectively.
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