IP Research Assistant Spotlight: Brian O'Gara

Author: Program on IP & Technology Law

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Brian O'Gara, a rising second-year law student, is originally from Levittown, New York. He received his B.S. in biology from Davidson College with a minor in religious studies, cum laude. While at Davidson, O'Gara worked with the Strategies for Success Program where with his peers he helped to improve the educational and professional opportunities for diverse students in the STEM fields. O'Gara graduated as a member of the Tri Beta Biology Honors Society. Currently working as a research assistant to Professor Mark P. McKenna, he is conducting research in the area of free speech and trademarks as well as other emerging areas in patent and trademark law. O'Gara is currently on the executive board of both the IP Law Society and the Hispanic Law Students Association at Notre Dame Law School. Given his background, he looks forward to the opportunity to research legal, ethical, and regulatory questions that arise with the increased use of biotechnology through independent research while in law school. Upon graduating law school, O'Gara plans to pursue a career in intellectual property litigation. Read his answers to some of NDLawIP’s questions to learn more about his interest in IP and work this summer!


NDLawIP: What brought you to Notre Dame Law School and what sparked your interest in IP? 

My entire life I have attended small, close-knit schools and so I was searching for the same type of environment in my law school. Notre Dame was by far the best option with respect to this, and in combination with the excellent faculty and renowned alumni network, my choice was clear. My undergraduate major was biology and probably my favorite course in my major was Discoveries in Biotechnologies. Reading primary research in this field and learning about the vast potential it has motivated me to incorporate this and other areas in STEM into my legal career.    

NDLawIP: What’s been your favorite thing about law school? 

The moot court experience through second semester Legal Writing has been my favorite part of law school thus far. I want to be a litigator, and this provided a small preview of advocating for a client and the work I could be doing in my career.  

NDLawIP: What’s your favorite YouTube channel, Instagram account, or Twitter feed to follow now? 

@MLBVault on Instagram. They post classic baseball highlights and as an avid baseball fan — especially given the lack of sports at the moment — their posts are always a welcome sight on my feed.

NDLawIP: As Aristotle said, we are social animals. What are you doing to stave off cabin fever and maintain your humanity during this time of social distancing and working remotely over the summer?

I've been going on runs and taking long walks with my dog, Bear, almost every day. It's a small, but welcome reprieve from sitting in my apartment.