Brittany Von Rueden is a rising second-year law student originally from Mequon, Wisconsin. Von Rueden attended the University of Notre Dame for her undergraduate education where she majored in both Finance and Economics, as well as maintaining a starting position as outside defender on the varsity women’s soccer team. After graduation, Von Rueden pursued business analyst roles in San Jose, California for Stryker Endoscopy, a medical device company. During her tenure at Stryker, Von Rueden traveled around California, Colorado, Indiana, Mexico, Canada, and Israel; launched seventeen new products and took part in several international acquisitions. She also participated in Stryker’s high school mentorship program. After more than three years working for Stryker, Brittany returned to Notre Dame to pursue a law degree. Her work with the New Product Development Team, and her involvement with the various integration and mergers and acquisitions projects, led to her desire to focus on intellectual property law. Seeing firsthand how innovative and impactful healthcare technology can be, Von Rueden hopes to use her law degree to be a positive force in the field of intellectual property. This summer Von Rueden looks forward to building on her foundational trademark knowledge and researching other intellectual property topics in patent law, copyright law, and other areas of technology law as a research assistant to Professor Mark McKenna. Given her degrees in business and her work experience as an analyst, Von Rueden is particularly interested in how analytics overlap with intellectual property and looks forward to seeing how certain data can be quantified and assessed in non-traditional ways. Read Von Rueden’s answers to some of NDLawIP’s questions to learn more about her interest in IP and work this summer!
NDLawIP: What brought you to Notre Dame Law School and what sparked your interest in IP?
What brought me to Notre Dame Law School was a desire to be back at Notre Dame. I had the privilege of attending Notre Dame as an undergraduate, and I was amazed at all the opportunities the University provided both during my four years and after. Notre Dame is an impressive institution in many ways, but the Notre Dame network is unparalleled. Virtually every Notre Dame grad is willing to do whatever he or she can to help fellow Domers. With law, it is arguably even more important to have strong connections to a community not only to lean on for support, but to benefit from when looking to build a reputation among future clients. As for IP, I have always been interested in continuous learning and applied problem solving. To me, IP represents a new puzzle with each problem, even if the topic area may be repetitive from a prior issue. Not all Trademark cases are the same, for example, and finding those nuances and learning how to apply principles in a new way are engaging activities for me. Plus, technology is constantly changing and expanding. To work in a field that is part of that growth is exciting to me. I had a chance to work on product launches while working at Stryker, and I know the impact new technology can have on people’s individual lives, as well as society as a whole. These impacts are what motivate me, and ultimately why IP is a good fit for me.
NDLawIP: What’s been your favorite thing about law school?
The breadth of information and the opportunity to gain a similar depth of knowledge. While working at Stryker, we took various personality assessments for growth and development purposes (how to maximize strengths, be the best employee or manager possible, etc.). For each assessment I took, the number one result was “Learner.” The journey from ignorance to knowledge is very engaging, so law school has been very enjoyable thus far.
NDLawIP: What’s your favorite YouTube channel, Instagram account, or Twitter feed to follow now?
I’ll pick Instagram, and I’ll say Testarossa Winery. I lived about 10 minutes from the winery when I lived in San Jose, and I miss being able to head over there for a leisurely weekend afternoon.
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?
When quarantine was first established, I spent a lot of time adjusting to the new remote learning style. Before I knew it, finals were here and then the journal write-on competition. These things served as enough of a distraction to stave off cabin fever, but now that 1L is officially done, I try to get out of the house in all the ways I would “normally” (i.e. pre-quarantine). I walk, run, play pick up soccer, visit friends, etc. Wisconsin has had moderate orders regarding staying at home and other protocols, so I am lucky that I am not on mandatory lock-down or having to deal with strict guidelines like some of my friends. As I’m sure everyone is, I am just trying to make my days as routine as possible.