Students who come to Notre Dame to study intellectual property and technology law have available to them a rich and diverse curriculum. Core courses in copyright, patent, trademark, and privacy law give students a strong foundation. A comprehensive suite of advanced courses gives students the opportunity to develop greater expertise in one more areas of IP and technology law. Advanced courses are offered in a wide variety of intellectual property-related fields including privacy law and data protection, design law, sports and entertainment law, and entrepreneurship and patent law.
Because IP and technology laws interact with a variety of other areas of law, and because the field is particularly interdisciplinary and increasingly global, we encourage students to complement their studies with courses in a variety of related areas. Related courses include those in administrative law, international business and trade, sports law, and cultural heritage law, among others.
Notre Dame students also have a number of experiential learning opportunities. The IP & Entrepreneurship Clinic allows students to apply their knowledge and develop skills under the expert and careful supervision of Professor Jodi Clifford. An opportunity to serve entrepreneurs, inventors, not-for-profit organizations and other clients in the South Bend community, the Clinic gives students a front-row seat to how businesses rapidly change and to how ideas for innovation can evolve in real-time. The Clinic experience allows students to develop lawyering skills that are important for their future practice, including understanding the specificity of clients’ needs and building an attorney-client relationship.
The London program offers great externship opportunities with U.S. and UK IP and technology law firms (Cleveland Scott York; Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner; Orrick) and other organizations with an entertainment, sports, or start-up focus (LawInSport; Youth Business International). Interested in externing in London with another firm or organization, perhaps with an art law focus? You can explore even more externship opportunities, and craft your own London experience. Students further develop important practice skills through externships in South Bend, the wider Silicon Prairie area, and through semester-based programs in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Beyond the United States, Notre Dame’s London Law Program, the oldest study-abroad program run by an American law school, allows students to study in the birthplace of our common law system, and the source of many of our earliest statutory frameworks for intellectual property. Students can also extern at IP law firms in London, gaining valuable experience in an international practice setting. Students have further opportunities to live, study IP law, and work in IP law firms and organizations internationally through exchange programs around the world, including, notably, in Beijing, China; Milan, Italy; and Dublin, Ireland. Notre Dame has also recently created an exciting opportunity for students to intern with select Dublin law firms and corporations between their first and second years of law school.
The global and international IP opportunities through Notre Dame Law are practically endless. Through the exchange program with Bocconi, you could study fashion and design law in Milan. The Law School’s exchange program with Trinity College Dublin gives you a front row seat to how privacy law in the European Union and Ireland may set global baselines for the rest of the world. At Peking University in Beijing, you can study comparative patent law. Through our exchange program with the Pontifical University in Santiago, Chile, you can learn about cultural and intellectual property rights. At the University of Lucerne you can delve into trade issues related to IP, and explore other IP questions as applied to food and music.
Extracurricular activities for students include the student-run Journal on Emerging Technologies, which allows students to devote precious time and resources to researching cutting-edge topics in intellectual property and technology from a multidisciplinary perspective. Founded also on interdisciplinary principles, the Journal counts both graduate science students, law students, and law students with STEM graduate degrees on its editorial team. The student-run Intellectual Property Law Society regularly hosts IP-centered events with scholars for students. Students regularly participate in IP moot court competitions, including the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition sponsored by INTA. A mentorship program allows IP students to be paired with Notre Dame Law School IP alumni to discern their interest in the field and in specific intellectual property and technology law issues. Prominent practicing IP lawyers also serve as adjunct professors and guest speakers in the Program's Lecture Series each semester, bringing their specialized expertise to the classroom and providing valuable mentoring and more networking opportunities for students.