Friday, May 02, 2014

          The Adjunct Advantage: Leading Tech Attorneys Boost Faculty Firepower

          “At least once a year, a case blows away everything that came before it or re-encapsulates it with the most current thinking on the law. We are definitely at the leading edge of these types of classes.” -- Joseph Gratz of Durie Tangri
          Sample alt tag.
          Adjunct professor Charles Tait Graves '98, of Wilson Sonsini

          Students tend to remember Charles Tait Graves ’98 very well. They contact him years after they’ve studied California trade secret law in his class to say that they’ve been thinking of him—because an issue he taught them has just come up on the job.

          That’s exactly what Graves wants to hear. Along with other UC Hastings adjunct professors—who teach everything from business law for startups to cyberlaw—he aims to give his students a cutting-edge IP legal education.

          “Lawsuits involving trade secrets claims and related IP have been growing over the years, and law schools have been slow to address this issue,” says Graves, a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. “What we do at UC Hastings is different from what a lot of law schools offer.”

          UC Hastings has long turned to adjunct professors in IP practice areas to prepare students for the worlds of high tech, mergers and acquisitions, and patents. These instructors, from some of the Bay Area’s most influential firms, have a wealth of hands-on experience advising local inventors, founders, and investors.

          “I love how engaged the students are,” says Chris Mammen, a partner at Hogan Lovells who teaches a seminar on patent law. “And they’re motivated to do things independently, like write an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court,” he says, which they did in connection with a software patent case, Alice Corporation v. CLS Bank.

          Joseph Gratz, a partner at Durie Tangri, describes his cyberlaw course as “a tour of everything you need to know to be competent in-house counsel at an Internet company.”

          Since he first taught the seminar in 2010, Gratz has overhauled the syllabus to reflect rapid-fire changes in the field. “At least once a year, a case blows away everything that came before it or re-encapsulates it with the most current thinking on the law,” says Gratz. “We are definitely at the leading edge of these types of classes.”

          Adjuncts who teach startup classes ground students in legal theory while immersing them in issues affecting tech enterprises. “I treat them like first-year associates,” says Glen Van Ligten ’90, a Gunderson Dettmer partner. “So they have a jump on most folks who join a corporate law firm.”
          Van Ligten has been impressed by his students’ practical bent. “Early on, they’re already thinking about solving real-world problems,” he says. “They’re right more often than I’d expect.”

          Read more from UC Hastings magazine, The Enterprise Issue, here.

          Go to News Archive

          Share this Story

          Share via Facebook
          Share via TwitterShare via EmailPrint Friendly Version

          Other Recent Stories/ RSS

          Wednesday, March 22, 2017

          We’re #1: UC Hastings Trial Team Wins National Ethics Trial Competition

          The UC Hastings Trial Team keeps bringing home the gold with another first place finish.
          Wednesday, March 22, 2017

          Tracking the Future of the Affordable Care Act

          UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science and Health Policy launches Health Reform Tracker website.
          Tuesday, March 21, 2017

          UC Hastings LL.M. student Simren Delaney works with early stage Bay Area startups

          Now in its 7th year, the Startup Legal Garage enables UC Hastings students to work with early stage Tech and BioTech companies to provide them with corporate and intellectual property legal services under the supervision of leading attorneys throughout the Bay Area.
          Tuesday, March 14, 2017

          Message from Dean Faigman: US News Rankings

          While it is an annual rite of spring for deans to celebrate or lament the widely variable swings in rankings from year-to-year, UC Hastings must keep its eyes on what counts. We are doing that.
          Tuesday, March 07, 2017

          What Worked for Us May Work for You: Alumni Share Bar Success Stories for New Blog

          UC Hastings launches the Bar Passage Success Stories and Strategies blog.
          Go to News Archive