WUSTL School of Law offers D.C.-area patent law placement

Washington University in St. Louis School of Law is offering a Washington, D.C., area intellectual property field placement opportunity for students pursuing a career focused on the preparation, filing and prosecution of patent applications.

Students in the externship will work at the law firm of Oliff & Berridge in Alexandria, Va., for one semester.

“Our students will be expected to perform as a first-year associate,” says David Deal, JD, director of WULAW’s Intellectual Property & Technology Law Program and co-director of the Intellectual Property and Nonprofit Organizations Legal Clinic at WULAW.

“Students will prepare responses to patent office actions, draft amended patent claims and prepare communications with clients.”

After formal training, WULAW students will be paired with a mentor at the firm and given a slate of projects for the semester.

This program is designed to immerse WULAW students in a law firm environment and facilitate the transition from law students to competent and productive practitioners.

“There is a steep learning curve involved in patent law work,” Deal says. “Practical preparation and prosecution experience will enhance employment opportunities for these students.”

Three WULAW students who participated in the first Oliff & Berridge placement in spring 2011 semester received and accepted offers of post-graduation employment.


The new field placement at Oliff & Berridge is part of WULAW’s leading Intellectual Property & Technology Law Program.

The program allows law students to focus on various aspects of IP law, preparing them to practice in any jurisdiction and in the international arena.

Students also can participate in the Intellectual Property & Nonprofit Organizations Clinic, which helps clients address a wide range of patent, copyright, trademark and general business formation matters. Clients range from small startup entities to community and educational groups to international organizations.

Additionally, WULAW offers a Master of Laws (LLM) degree in Intellectual Property and Technology Law.

The LLM curriculum allows students from around the world to study introductory and advanced intellectual property law and to scrutinize the politics affecting those areas of the law under the guidance of leading scholars in the field. Students participate in practical skills courses taught in small groups by teams of experienced intellectual property lawyers.

For more information, contact Deal at drdeal@wulaw.wustl.edu.