Professor Christa Laser joined CSU Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in the fall of 2020 as an Assistant Professor of Law after spending nearly a decade in practice at international law firms Kirkland & Ellis LLP and most recently WilmerHale, as a Senior Associate in Intellectual Property Litigation. She is an experienced litigator, intellectual property law scholar, speaker and teacher, but also a photographer, author, biochemist, dancer, fencer and fitness enthusiast. With her wide range of skills and experience, she believes her best avenue for making an impact on the world is through her teaching and legal scholarship and is excited for that to take place at CSU Cleveland-Marshall.
“I am thrilled to join the Cleveland-Marshall faculty and I can’t wait to start making an impact on students and our school,” Laser said.
Laser, a graduate of the George Washington University Law School where she won the World Championship of the International & North American Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition, has extensive expertise in patents, trademarks, copyrights, false advertising, pharmaceutical litigation and regulation and technology law. While she loved practicing law, she has known since working as a research assistant in law school a decade ago that she would ultimately like to teach the law.
“I can’t imagine a better job than being able to think about the law, write honestly about what the law should be, and see my students learn and grow into attorneys,” Laser said. “I get so energized by talking with others about the nuances of the law that I knew that I would enjoy teaching.”
With the ultimate goal of entering the legal teaching profession in mind, Laser has worked hard during her time in practice to make herself well-known as an intellectual property scholar. That includes publishing several articles in law journals and other legal publications. Her patent law scholarship has been cited by numerous scholars, judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and in briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Laser’s research envisions an intellectual property system that supports innovation, investment and competition across all technology areas. She currently has a pair of articles forthcoming, including one co-authored with retired US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Judge Arthur Gajarsa.
“Writing legal scholarship feels like I am able to bare my soul about what I think the law should be—and hopefully I’m doing so in a way that makes the world a better place,” said Laser, who worked as a researcher at the BioDesign Institute’s Center for BioOptical Nanotechnology prior to law school.
During the past year, Laser was a fellow in Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University’s prestigious Thomas Edison Innovation Fellowship. She has also presented at a collection of intellectual property conferences at law schools throughout the country, ranging from Stanford Law School to the Case Western Reserve School of Law.
Laser began stage acting in various productions at the age of five, and In recent years, she has honed her speaking skills as a member of the public speaking organization Toastmasters. She competed in and won local competitions and learned how to connect better with people from diverse backgrounds. She now to use her verbal skills to connect with students in her CSU C|M|LAW classes.
In addition to expressing herself with oral and written communications, Laser has found ways to connect with others and to various aspects of herself through athletic competition and the arts. Throughout high school and college, she was a competitive fencer who competed as a member of Arizona State University’s team while working on her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry. Laser medaled in women's foil at the U.S. National Championships and the North American Cup, as well as dozens of state and local competitions. Fencing taught her how to keep her mind calm when she was stressed or facing a challenge. It also instilled in her a passion for fitness that led to her participating in a recent Ms. Health and Fitness competition.
Laser also enjoys a wide variety of creative and philosophical endeavors. Her photography includes cityscape, landscape and abstract works and is available in an online gallery. She is an experienced tango and ballroom dancer. Laser has also published Goals: The Philosophy and Science of Achieving Your Dreams, a book on identifying and mastering personal goals peppered with nuggets of wisdom from Lao Tzu, the Dalai Lama, Cicero and others.
“For me, artistic expression is a way to feel fully human. Whether it is dance, photography, or poetry, art connects me to myself and to others,” Laser said.
Laser’s expertise in the arts is also something she has used to combination with her legal expertise. In 2013, Laser published, Copyright for Photographers, a book that provides an introduction to U.S. copyright law and other legal issues for photographers. She also taps into her creative writing mindset to enhance her legal scholarship.
“In my legal writing in particular, I draw on my practice of creativity to see new ideas and play with them to draw them out,” Laser explained. “Research suggests that creative thoughts often come from a certain state of mind and art can help us tap into that, rewiring the brain to make creativity come more naturally to us in other parts of our lives. I therefore try to make creativity a part of every aspect of my life so that I can both feel fully human and perform at my peak in my career.”