February 29, 2008
Making the case for mandatory externships
~ written by University of Dayton, Law School
While its new mandatory externship program celebrates a successful first year, UDSL is pleased to announce a prestigious placement with its new partner, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Aziz Ahmad, a UDSL graduate, patent attorney, and LL.M. student, has moved to Washington, DC to complete a spring externship with the USPTO. During his externship, Ahmad will have the opportunity to assist the Office of Patent Legal Administration with development and administration of patent law, advise on the examination policy, and formulate new regulations, policies, and procedures regarding patents.
“This is a unique opportunity for Mr. Ahmad to showcase his talents and abilities before a well-respected entity. I am pleased that the USPTO decided to extend him an externship offer,” said Monique Lampke, an externship supervisor at the UD law school. Ms. Lampke practiced civil litigation in Columbus for nine years with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and then with the law firm of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur.
“Mr. Ahmad’s externship is a natural fit, given his passion for patent law, neuroscience, and biotechnology,” said Lampke. Externship responsibilities will include drafting decisions on petitions in all legal fields, reviewing sensitive patent applications in the bio-related arts, consulting on biotechnology related reexaminations, and working with technology centers on the examination of biotechnology related patent applications.
The USPTO emphasized to Ahmad that this externship would “prove to be valueadded to your legal career.” While Ahmad grew up in a family of physicians, his sister’s car accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down influenced Ahmad to pursue an interest in neuroscience and spinal cord injuries. Ahmad eventually majored in biology at Transylvania University in Kentucky, but then decided to pursue a law degree because he realized that “patent law was a way I could work directly with the researchers to protect their research, and then work with lawmakers to help them understand the science so they can make the best decisions.” Ahmad hopes to eventually work for a biotech company, assisting researchers secure patents.
According to Lampke, “UDSL’s mandatory externship program provides our students with a legal apprenticeship to develop practical, professional skills and obtain experience in a legal setting, such as the USPTO. During an externship, our students are directly supervised by an experienced attorney or judge with learning and skill development as the overriding goals. Mr. Ahmad’s field supervisor, Kery Fries, readily understood the learning component of our externships and we are pleased to have him and others at the USPTO as partners in our externship program.”
Students receive academic credit and thus, may not receive compensation, for their externship hours. Externships are available in the fall, winter, or summer semesters. For more information regarding the program, contact Monique Lampke, firstname.lastname@example.org.