The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) and Microsoft Corporation Present The HNBA/Microsoft IP Law Institute

The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) and Microsoft Corporation announced at the HNBA Corporate Counsel Conference in Atlanta, Georgia a new, bold partnership designed to increase the number of Latino lawyers in U.S. intellectual property law. The highlight of the announcement was Microsoft’s pledge of $200,000.00 over three years to help fund the new initiative called the “HNBA/Microsoft IP Law Institute.”

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.

Times designated for lunch speakers and presentations by lawyers will be by Hispanic judges, law professors and firm partners telling stories of personal interest regarding career obstacles and achievements and stories of motivation.  The breakout dinners will divide students and lawyers up into small groups to facilitate more personal interaction and discussion designed to build individual relationships.  As speakers are confirmed, the agenda will be updated and provided to the participants.

Participating lawyers will be encouraged to establish mentoring relationships with one or more students. Following completion of the week in Washington, D.C. the IP Law Institute will continue interacting with the law students by providing guidance and acting as a resource for student’s questions about their law studies.  The IP Law Institute will track the mentoring relationships to ensure success and will solicit ongoing feedback from both students and lawyer participants to improve the program.  The IP Law Institute will stay connected with the students through their graduation, with the ultimate goal of assisting the students in securing employment in the field of IP law.

The inaugural program will take in Washington DC from July 8th to 12th, 2013.

The applications are due May 15th.

Application Process:

Applications for the IP Law Institute will be accepted through May 15, 2013. Candidates must submit a completed application, a personal statement, a current resume, and a law school transcript. Resumes should include relevant classes and experiences. Though references are not required, applicants are encouraged to submit up to two professional or academic references. Only fully completed applications will be considered. All information and materials must be submitted using this website.

For a representative itinerary for the IP Law Institute’s program, please visit the Career Development Office (CDO) or ask your CDO advisor.