Students interested in pursuing a career in Intellectual Property Law can gain real-world experience while working alongside experts at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
C|M|LAW features an IP Advisory Council made up of practitioners and educators, who advise on the continued growth of the program and act as a resource for students studying IP at C|M|LAW. The council provides a valuable professional network and ensures C|M|LAW students keep an eye on the future of IP and their own careers.
Professor Mickey Davis publishes internationally, and is co-author of Intellectual Property, Patents, Trademarks, and Copyright in a Nutshell, published by West Publishing Company. In addition to his writing, he is an admitted patent bar attorney. Prof. Mickey Davis’s survey of IP class covers all aspects of IP law, giving students a strong foundation.
“The survey course gives students an understanding of working with the components of IP law, which are copyright, patents, and trademark,” says Prof. Davis. In addition to the survey course, he teaches a slate of IP classes and says that C|M|LAW’s program offers the foundation, experiences and network needed to be successful in the field.
Because IP touches so many areas of the law, students can enhance their knowledge by collaborating with C|M|LAW’s experts from a variety of programs to see the real-world value of their work.
“At C|M|LAW, we provide a holistic approach to the study of Intellectual Property,” says Professor Angelin Chang, GRAMMY® Award winning concert pianist. “We are able to tailor to individual student interests through integration of IP study with other areas such as Music, Film and Digital Media, Entertainment and Sports, as well as our Global Space Law Center, Center for Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection and Center for Health Law and Policy.”
Prof. Chang teaches “Representing the Musical Artist,” in which students learn about the practical legal issues that arise when counseling a musical artist from early to late career.
Students have the opportunity to work on cutting-edge First Amendment issues by taking the First Amendment, Media & Entertainment Law practicum, in which they help advise clients, ranging from reality TV producers, news organizations, museums, rock bands, playwrights and graffiti artists. They explore these issues through first-hand work on real cases alongside Adjunct Professor Patrick Kabat, a nationally known First Amendment Lawyer.
Kabat and his C|M|LAW practicum students recently received national attention for work completed on an Ohio Supreme Court case involving a Cleveland City Councilman.
The Student Experience:
Brian Asquith is a 3L student. He emigrated from the UK to the US as a research scientist in materials science and, for 10 years prior to attending C|M|LAW, worked in Cleveland as a patent agent. He is also a self-taught artist, with pieces shown in the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and inventor/co-inventor on approximately 15 patents/patent applications. His goal to work with copyright (which only can be practiced by IP attorneys, not agents) drove him to attend law school.
During my time at Cleveland-Marshall, I’ve assisted internationally renowned artist Derek Hess defend his copyrights, worked on IP issues facing NASA and private use of the International Space Station, and I am about to extern with the Cleveland Indians in their copyright and trademarks legal department. Cleveland-Marshall opened the doors to enable these ventures.
I chose C|M|LAW as it offered an excellent combination of downtown location, relatively low tuition fees, excellent reputation in Cleveland and Ohio, and – as well as offering the standard classes found in any law school curriculum –it had a good offering of IP-related classes. During my three years at C|M|LAW, the number and scope of the IP offerings has become extensive, and I know the range of IP-related classes is being increased further as C|M|LAW continues to expand its IP coverage.
Also, during my time at C|M|LAW, I've seen the school become increasingly involved with local IP firms. Many of the classes are taught by adjunct professors who are attorneys at the local firms. This provides an avenue for establishing contacts in the industry, and I also know C|M|LAW graduates who are working in IP law at these firms.
Cleveland has a strong national presence in IP law. As companies look to reduce their IP expenditure, they look to firms that can charge less but still deliver top quality work.
Given the cost of living in Northeast Ohio is less than cities on the east or west coast, the NEO firms can charge less than firms located in New York City or Los Angeles. This competitive pricing leads to the Cleveland-based firms gaining the work, thereby increasing the number of IP jobs in the region, which are often at the same firms that Cleveland-Marshall is interacting with.
Between the course offerings, its downtown location and, most importantly, its interaction with local IP law firms … any student considering a career in IP will not be disappointed in choosing to attend Cleveland-Marshall. The faculty have been excellent, both as lecturers and in creating an environment conducive to learning and the student experience.
There are two IP-related student groups at Cleveland-Marshall, the Student Intellectual Property Law Association (SIPLA) and the Entertainment and Sports Law Association (ESLA).
These student groups are led by the students for the benefit of the students, and many of the events they organize are attended by attorneys, which again can lead to the potential for industry contacts. The groups also fund students to attend national conferences, for example, the IP law conference in Washington, D.C.
An Alumna’s Perspective:
Andrea Liguore '17 graduated with honors from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, where she focused her studies and experiences on Music and Entertainment Law. She worked as a legal intern for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Cleveland for more than two years and worked extensively with the General Counsel and Assistant General Counsel on various contracts and research memos. She also served as the President of Cleveland-Marshall’s Entertainment and Sports Law Association and the Treasurer of the Justinian Forum. She is currently a member of C|M|LAW’s IP Advisory Council.
C|M|LAW has been very helpful with preparing me through coursework and starting my practice. The professors are always available to answer questions or guide you through new issues that may arise.
With the various IP courses offered, you are able to find courses that interest you, and tailor your learning experience to the area of practice you’re interested in pursuing.
I decided that I was going to focus on music and entertainment law after taking C|M|LAW’s Great Lakes Sports and Entertainment Law program.
I did my externship through the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame following that program and have been pursing it ever since. I was able to take the IP law courses that directly related to my practice, and take certain courses that focused more in depth on the area of IP I was interested in.
C|M|LAW also has a great network of alumni who are available to guide and mentor you through your career when you transition into practice. IP law touches many other areas of practice, so it’s helpful to have other attorneys to reach out to when you’re dealing with an area in which you may not be as familiar.
I now have a solo practice focused on music, entertainment and business law. I work with artists, both music and visual, along with arts related businesses to protect and profit from their IP.
I realized not many firms in town have a division dedicated to entertainment law, so I started my own firm through the C|M|LAW’s Solo Practice Incubator. With my practice areas, I’m able to focus my IP work on how it relates to either artists or small businesses. Cleveland’s entertainment scene has really been growing throughout the years, and it’s important to have attorneys in the area available to help these artists and entertainment businesses thrive.