What is it?
The Patent Clinic is a vital component of the Small Business Law Center (SBLC) that focuses on providing legal assistance in the practice area of patent law. Students who participate in the Patent Clinic will have the opportunity to directly assist clients desiring to obtain patent protection for a patentable idea. Students will be supervised by a California licensed patent attorney, but students will have primary responsibility for all client matters undertaken.
Students enrolled in the Patent Clinic are required to participate in mandatory class meetings that focus on the lawyering skills necessary to effectively represent clients. In addition to discussing client interviewing and counseling, students will also focus on the substantive and administrative areas of patent practice relevant to the legal matters being handled, including issues of professional responsibility.
How does this fit into my academic program?
FOR JD STUDENTS
Participation in the Patent Clinic satisfies the Professional Skills graduation requirement. Students who participate in the spring or fall semester are eligible for 3 or 4 units of live client work. Each unit is equivalent to 5 hours per week, totaling 15 or 20 hours per week for client representation. Work within the clinic space is required and students are expected to be available to meet with clients during their designated clinic hours. The mandatory clinical seminar counts for an additional 2 units. Students cannot enroll in the Patent Clinic and receive pro bono hours in lieu of units.
FOR SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS
Scientists and engineers participate in the law school's flexible patent law enrichment program to build a greater depth of knowledge for working with patent attorneys at their companies or to become patent agents. These students participate in skill building classes such as Patent Claim Drafting and work in the patent clinic. They may also take substantive courses such as Patent Law to further enhance their depth of understanding. At each stage, students will interact with our expert professors and practitioners, including a partner at a major patent law firm and in-house IP counsel for a major technology firm. And those interested in taking the patent bar will receive the guidance of our faculty as they prepare.