Third –year student Jennifer McCollough is on a roll when it comes to working with U.S. District Court Judges. She has just accepted a post-graduate judicial clerkship with Judge John D. Love, a U.S. Magistrate Judge with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. She currently is interning with Judge Roger Benitez, a 1978 TJSL alumnus, and previously interned for Judge Anthony Battaglia, both in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
“I am ecstatic to have this opportunity,” McCollough said. “Judge Love is highly respected and I know I am going to learn so much from him. Also, I am hoping to practice in patent law and intellectual property after graduation, so being able to focus in patent litigation during my clerkship is a unique opportunity.”
Beverly K. Bracker, Director of Career Services at TJSL, put McCollough in touch with TJSL alumnus, Ray Warner, who graduated in the late 90's and is now a career clerk in the Eastern District of Texas. "He was a big help and great resource for Jennifer as she prepared for the interview," Bracker said.
“Ms. Bracker has been nothing short of amazing,” McCollough says. “She is the perfect person in her position, both as a counselor and motivator. She has been such a calming force when I was freaking out about how I was going to balance my studies with getting all these applications done.”
McCollough also recognized Professors Bryan Wildenthal, Priscilla Vargas-Wrosch and Ellen Waldman for helping her prepare for the interview, Professors Julie Cromer Young and Steve Semeraro for their work and mentorship through the IP Fellows Program, Professor Brenda Simon for her career advice and patent law expertise, and Professor Judybeth Tropp for her assistance as the Director of the law school’s externship program.
“I am scheduled to start on August 1, 2013,” McCollough explains. “So I will have a week after the bar exam to get settled and prepare to hit the ground running. The term of the clerkship is for one year, and Judge Love indicated that I may be able to extend for a second year, so we will see.”
For McCollough, a major perk of earning this post-graduate clerkship is reuniting with her family. “After nearly fifteen years in the military, being close to my family for a year makes this the perfect clerkship for me,” she says. “I am very excited to play golf with my eighty-year old grandmother, hear my Mom sing in the choir on Sundays, eat my Dad’s awesome steak and attend my little brother’s football games on the weekends!”
Just recently she was a Summer Law Intern with the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division in Washington, D.C. She also has been a Research Assistant and a Teacher Assistant for four different professors, co-founder of the Intellectual Property Law Journal, president of the Intellectual Property Law Association, and one of TJSL’s four IP Fellows. She attended the U.S. Naval Academy and her undergraduate degree is in Aerospace Engineering. Up until the beginning of 2012, McCollough was active duty with the U.S. Navy, where she was a helicopter pilot and a legal officer. In her spare time, she participates in triathlons and ultra-marathons, plays piano and volunteers at elementary schools.
“It is a huge relief to know that I have a job right after graduation,” notes McCollough. “I’ll be back in job search mode again in a couple years, but I am very excited about the doors that will open following this clerkship.”
"As a school we have much to be proud of, and Jennifer is someone who is a shining example of that," said Bracker.