3L Gabriel Ramirez-Hernandez was one of 30 law students from around the country chosen to take part in the Hispanic National Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Law Institute in Washington, D.C., in June. Ramirez-Hernandez was the only student from Minnesota picked for the highly competitive immersion program.
Started in 2013 as an effort to increase Latino representation in the IP field, the weeklong, all-expenses-paid program offers students hands-on learning opportunities, writing workshops, and mentorships. It also gives Latino law students a chance to network with other students interested in IP and meet with IP attorneys practicing in the justice system, the government, and the tech industry—including big players like Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, Google, Facebook, and Lenovo.
The national program’s creation has ties to a member of the Mitchell Hamline community—when Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge Peter M. Reyes, Jr. ’97 was president of the National Hispanic Bar Association, helped launch the effort with the help of the company Microsoft and Jimmie V. Reyna, a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Ramirez-Hernandez found the program both intense and inspirational. He said the most valuable takeaway may be the connections he made with 29 other law students from across the U.S., who he looks forward to staying in touch with as they navigate law school and their careers.
Ramirez-Hernandez says the Intellectual Property Law Institute’s ultimate goal of diversifying the IP field is important.
“Like any other area of the law, who is represented and how they’re represented matters,” he said. “The tech industry and intellectual property are so global that having attorneys that have other cultural skills to contribute is more and more important.”
Ramirez-Hernandez, a member of the Mitchell Hamline Student Intellectual Property Law Association, is currently in his 2nd year as a summer associate at the Minneapolis-based firm Maslon. He’ll graduate in the spring of 2020. After earning his J.D., he hopes to continue working in Minnesota and focus on building his litigation practice, one that would include intellectual property cases.