• Suffolk Law Tops in Training Boston’s Patent Lawyers

10/31/2011

Suffolk University Law School is No. 1 in Boston when it comes to patent law, with more alumni practicing that specialty in local law firms than any other law school in the country.

There are 121 Suffolk University Law School-educated partners and associates working in the city’s top patent firms, according to data on the top 25 patent firms in Boston as identified by the independent Avery Index.

Harvard Law School at No. 2 has a total of 74 alumni working on patent issues as partners and other types of attorneys in Boston law firms. In terms of its closest competitors, Suffolk yields nearly twice as many patent law associates as Boston College Law School, nearly three times as many as Boston University School of Law and more than three times as many as Harvard.

“Suffolk-trained lawyers are dominating every practice category in our study: in patents and among patent partners, associates, technical specialists, registered patent attorneys and patent lawyers with doctorates,” said Professor Michael Rustad, co-director of Suffolk Law’s Intellectual Property concentration, who examined the number of patent lawyers working at the top Boston patent firms as identified by the Avery Index. “Suffolk trains a disproportionate number of IP lawyers, and they are in the most elite patent law firms in Boston.”

The numbers point to Suffolk University Law School’s strength in the booming intellectual property arena. The Law School, nationally ranked for its intellectual property program, is well positioned for the current growth curve in intellectual property and the strong demand for specialists, including patent lawyers. The America Invents Act, a major overhaul in the nation’s patent system, also is driving demand.

“Suffolk University Law School alumni now have a significant presence in the top patent law firms that service New England’s software, technology, life sciences and health care industries,” said Professor Andrew Beckerman-Rodau, co-director of the Intellectual Property Law concentration. “Innovation in newer areas, including social media and apps for mobile devices, is fueling demand for intellectual property law experts.”

Suffolk Law also has the most patent attorneys and technical specialists with PhDs, with 66 such alumni in practice in the Boston area. The next school in the ranking has nine. Many of those graduates have obtained their law degrees through the Law School’s evening program while advancing their careers in engineering, life sciences, medicine and other fields during the day.

In 1995, Suffolk Law became the first Boston-area law school to build an Intellectual Property Law Concentration, offering comprehensive training to students at the front lines of the information-based economy. Today, Suffolk Law's Intellectual Property Concentration offers more than 35 specialized courses. The cutting-edge program is built around a core of intellectual property law, supplemented by skills-based training. Students take advanced courses in each branch of intellectual property law: patent, copyright, trademark and trade secrets.

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