Licensed Patent Agent, IP Moot Court, Student IP Law Association
As Mark Hammond completed an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering, his desire for broader exposure to new technologies, more significant opportunities for writing, and improved control over his future made a career in intellectual property (“IP”) compelling. After shadowing patent attorneys and sitting in on a few law school classes, his decision was solidified, and he applied to BYU Law.
During Hammond’s three years of law school, he participated in a variety of IP organizations including IP Moot Court and the Student IP Law Association. He passed the patent bar during his 2L year and is now a licensed patent agent. He also externed at law offices in Madrid, Salt Lake City, and Houston.
“BYU has wonderful IP opportunities, making them competitive with top-notch, IP-focused law schools,” he said. “I took Intro to IP, IP Skills Lab, IP Colloquium, Copyright Law, Patent Law, Technology Licensing, Patent Drafting, IP Moot Court, IP Litigation, and also completed various externships at IP law firms. My courses and experiences during law school developed the skills I need as a patent attorney.”
Hammond noted that his experience in law school has drastically changed his thinking and the way he approaches life. He said the aspect of his legal education that impacted him the most was the process (and aggravation) of learning legal analysis as an engineer.
“Answering legal questions is an exhaustive journey of analysis, the circumstantial or uncertain outcomes of which challenge an engineering mindset,” he said. “Law school removed me from a world filled with constants and models to a zero-sum world which involved shifting public policies and evolving rules packaged into arguments. But through my peers and professors, I slowly realized and enjoyed the beauty of the legal world. Its competitive environment drove me to consider more possibilities and avoid conforming to unacceptable answers. Its changing atmosphere increased my creativity for protecting innovators’ rights. Most importantly, BYU Law and my technical background gave me the enthusiasm to enjoy an exciting career in which I have the privilege of representing others and their ideas.”
After graduation, Hammond will work as a patent attorney for Perkins Coie in San Diego.