At DePaul Law, qualified first year students can be admitted to the IP legal writing section (IPLW), taught by an attorney with professional IP work experience. Students learn their required first year research and writing skills (e.g., memo and trial brief writing) in the context of intellectual property issues (e.g., patent, trademark, copyright, etc.). A major advantage of the IPLW program is that it introduces students to a variety of IP theory and skills in the first year of law school. This early IP training can be attractive to prospective IP employers, which is a contrast to traditional law school curricula that do not offer any IP training in the first year.
In the fall semester, students learn about sources of state and federal law, how to identify and communicate rules of law, how to describe precedent cases, and how to apply those precedent cases to client facts in order to predict which side might prevail in a dispute. In the spring, students have an increased emphasis on researching statutes and cases pertaining to IP issues as they refine their fall semester memo writing skills. Then, at the tail end of the spring
semester, students will prepare a trial brief arguing their client's
position on various IP issues.
These research and writing skills in the first year of law school serve as a relevant introduction for later upper level IP coursework and any summertime legal work.