Taylor Stemler is a Law Clerk at Merchant & Gould in Minneapolis. Stemler is expected to graduate in 2021. He plans to work full time as an associate attorney at Merchant & Gould where he will split his time working in intellectual property litigation and patent prosecution, until he selects an area to specialize in.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities with a degree in biomedical engineering, Stemler worked as an engineer at a local medical device company. “After working with a patent attorney on an invention in my engineering job, I learned more about what patent attorneys did and found myself compelled to learn more,” said Stemler. “Once I took the LSAT and applied to law school I realized this was a realistic option for me and that pursuing a career in patent law offered lots of upward mobility in my career path.”
Stemler initially chose to attend Mitchell Hamline because of his scholarship offer and the part-time evening enrollment option that would allow him to continue working full time as an engineer. “After taking some of the classes at Mitchell Hamline and working with the faculty in the Intellectual Property Institute, I realized that I could not have selected a better school to begin my career in patent law,” said Stemler. “The school is extremely well connected with local and national intellectual property firms and attracts a wide variety of impressive and experienced attorneys to come in and speak with intellectual property students.”
Stemler credits Professor Carl Moy’s two semester course in patent law for his “rock solid” foundation from which to build his knowledge of the subject through more specialized patent courses and work experiences. Stemler noted, “Professor Moy has also been an excellent resource to consult with about my career plans and always provides thoughtful guidance when I approach him with a professional issue I am facing.”
Professor Sharon Sandeen teaches the Intellectual Property Survey course. Stemler explained, “Although the school offers separate courses in patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret law, I did not have room in my schedule to take each of these courses. Professor Sandeen’s course allowed me to gain a workable understanding of each of these areas and better choose how to focus my studies of them.”
Stemler worked full time as an engineer during his first year of law school in the part-time evening program. The summer after his first year, he worked as a summer associate at Robins Kaplan, a national law firm with an intellectual property practice in the Twin Cities. “Mitchell Hamline’s externship program has been a wonderful opportunity for me,” said Stemler. “In this program, I was able to work in patent law firms over the summer to gain experience and class credit while being paid for my work. Without Mitchell Hamline’s externship program, I question whether I would have been able to graduate from law school in three years due to having begun in the part-time program.” Stemler has worked part-time during the school year at Merchant & Gould since his second year in law school.
Stemler encourages prospective patent law students to reach out and network with people in the field. “Everyone I spoke to during my journey has always been extremely willing to discuss their experience and provide me with advice,” said Stemler. “I am happy to pay it forward and do the same for those who are interested.”