Initially, Teri McClerklin thought she would go for a Ph.D. in engineering but realized research wasn't the life she wanted. Her experience working in Israel helped her recognize that science and law dovetailed in interesting ways and that intellectual property could become a satisfying career.
I definitely don't think I could have gone straight from undergrad to law school. I needed that time off to breathe and figure out what I wanted to do. I think I'm more focused in law school because of it. I only applied to the Chicago schools and got in everywhere, but Chicago-Kent wasn't just about parading stats and numbers. They were really interested in the quality of the person who was applying. The camaraderie in classes was a huge thing for me. I had heard horror stories about how cut-throat and competitive law students could be, but I had the exact opposite experience.
My faculty adviser, Professor Sarah Harding, has gone a long way in giving me great advice. Every time I sit down and talk to her about my goals, she has a ton of ideas about how I can get to where I'm trying to go.
In engineering, I was learning mathematical equations and scientific theories. Law basically uses day-to-day language to express something in the legal realm. It's a different way of looking at things. I was fortunate to get an associate position last summer, and I was equally fortunate to get another for the upcoming summer. Both are large firms with IP practices. I'm very happy in the field of IP law. I don't know where life's going to take me, but for the foreseeable future, IP is my career.