J.D. Certificate Program in Intellectual Property Law
Founded more than 20 years ago, IIT Chicago-Kent's Intellectual Property Law Program is one of the strongest in the country. In the most recent U.S. News & World Report law school rankings (March 2016), Chicago-Kent's IP program was ranked 13th in the country—the highest-ranked IP program in the Midwest.
Chicago-Kent was the first U.S. law school to offer a graduate LL.M. program in the study of international intellectual property law, which continues to draw students from Asia, Europe, South America and the United States. As the importance of IP law has expanded, the Chicago-Kent IP program has kept pace, reflecting and anticipating the ever-changing nature and challenges of the contemporary IP field. Whether your interests lie in scientific and technological innovation, branding and advertising, or entertainment, music and the arts, Chicago-Kent's Program in Intellectual Property Law is committed to training the top IP attorneys of the future.
Full-time J.D. students who choose to participate in the optional 1L Your Way program can take Patent Law (or another approved elective) in the second semester of their first year. All other students may take IP courses starting in their second year.
Students who want to pursue a career in intellectual property can earn a Certificate in Intellectual Property Law, which requires 20 hours of IP course work. The Certificate culminates in a practical "Capstone Experience," in which students apply their knowledge to a problem-solving simulation or an actual case. Students in the IP program who plan to practice patent law typically have a background in science, computer science and/or engineering. Those interested in copyright and trademark law come from a variety of backgrounds. Many students continue working while they attend law school.
Students can broaden their knowledge of IP law even further by participating in the student-run Intellectual Property Law Society, IP-oriented moot court competitions, national IP writing competitions, the annual Supreme Court Intellectual Property Review conference, the Chicago Intellectual Property Colloquium (hosted by Chicago-Kent), and the student-run Journal of Intellectual Property.
Many graduates of Chicago-Kent's Intellectual Property Law Program work in IP firms and corporate law departments throughout the Chicago area and around the country, including in Washington, D.C., and Silicon Valley. Employers range from large general practice firms like Kirkland & Ellis to IP firms such as Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione as well as high-tech corporations like Motorola.