Monday, April 15, 2013

The HNBA/Microsoft IP Law Institute

The Hispanic National Bar Association and Microsoft have teamed up to create an exciting, bold new program to increase Hispanic representation in the field of intellectual property law.  Innovation is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy and IP law is an increasingly important factor in America’s future economic strength.  Yet, statistics show that Hispanic lawyers are underrepresented in the field of IP law.  The low numbers suggest a lack of understanding about IP law, a lack of role models, and a misconception about the skills and background needed to practice in the IP field.  The HNBA/Microsoft IP Law Institute (“IP Law Institute”) is committed to changing those statistics.

The IP Law Institute will select up to 25 law students from law schools throughout the country to participate in a week- long IP law immersion program.  The costs of travel, lodging, meals, and materials will be covered by the IP Law Institute. The IP Law Institute will provide substantive instruction, hands-on practical experience, writing workshops, visits to U.S. government institutions related to IP law (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, U.S. International Trade Commission, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit), briefings from leading IP practitioners and congressional and executive branch authorities, and networking opportunities, that will give participants a broad understanding of IP law practice, as well as provide contacts and avenues for potential employment.  The IP Law Institute will be anchored by a briefing on issues in an active patent litigation case followed by attending live oral arguments on the same case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”).  Attendees will also receive a rare behind the scenes tour of the court and meet CAFC Judges and law clerks.   The Honorable Jimmie V. Reyna from the CAFC will host the group at the court and will speak to the students about IP law and the court’s role in its development.   

Candidates must be law students in good standing at an ABA accredited law school and have a demonstrated interest in intellectual property law as a potential practice area.  Candidates are required to complete an online application that will include a personal statement, résumé, transcript and, at their option, professional and academic references.  Selection criteria will include an evaluation of interest; academic record; dedication and commitment toward accomplishing goals; professional and faculty recommendations; and previous technical/scientific-related educational and employment background (if applicable).  No one factor is dispositive and students with no technical or scientific background are encouraged to apply.

Please visit the Institute website for more details about the program and application instructions.