You are not alone
Mitchell Hamline and its predecessor schools have emphasized patent law for decades longer than any school in the region, with a special focus on the law as it is actually used in practice. As a result, the Patent Law Program has unusually strong connections to the wider patent community. This includes relationships with practicing attorneys, corporate patent law departments, and the judiciary.
As a Mitchell Hamline student who is seeking to specialize in patent law, you will arrive as a member of that community. Students in the program have many opportunities to meet and develop their own relationships with many attorneys in both general and boutique law firms, corporate patent departments, and the judiciary. The connections often lead to mentoring and externships while in law school, and to placements both while in school and upon graduation.
Introductions and mentoring
The Patent Law Program works in close concert with the patent community, including accomplished alumni as well other decision makers in key law firms and corporate patent departments. Their goal is to simultaneously benefit both law students and the community by educating new patent attorneys who can become leaders in the profession.
This preparation requires not only sophisticated law-school courses, but also deep exposure to the profession and how patent law is actually used in practice. Students in the program are therefore given many opportunities to meet and develop mentoring relationships with practicing patent attorneys. Even as early as the application process, the Patent Law Program introduces its prospective students to patent attorneys who can give the students information and advice about the program, about patent law as a career choice, and about strategies for succeeding in law school, placement, and beyond.
This emphasis on connections continues during law school. The Patent Law Program regularly schedules meetings and events where students are introduced to employers and attorneys in informal settings, giving the students opportunities to develop and continue relationships with patent attorneys who can give them insight and advice. The interactions are win-win; the students are seeking advice and mentoring, while the attorneys and their employers are eager to meet prospective new patent attorneys are develop relationships with them as soon as possible.