Today, Tuesday, December 3, Northwestern University is participating in Giving Tuesday. The goal of this nationwide effort is to put personal philanthropy back into the giving season. Held on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.
Join the Northwestern community in its goal to get #CATSGiveBack trending today. Participating is easy: make a gift of any size and then share why you gave to Northwestern Law on social media.
The University put together a slide show that illustrates why alumni can be extremely proud of their Northwestern degree. Donations of all sizes from alumni and friends add up to make these students’ experiences possible. Today we’re celebrating the many ways this fine institution has enriched our careers and lives—join us.
Earlier this year the Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth received a large grant from Qualcomm Incorporated to support a major new research initiative. “Innovation Economics” is an interdisciplinary undertaking that will study patents, technology standards, and standard setting organizations with an eye toward developing a better understanding of how inventive activity occurs, how it is commercialized, and what might be done to facilitate future innovation.
The project, directed by Daniel F. Spulber of the Kellogg School of Management and Searle’s Research Director, will create a set of databases that focus on standards development organizations, standards setting organizations, technology standards, and standard-essential patents; patent licensing, assignment, and litigation; complementary inventions and so-called “patent thickets”; “royalty stacking” and “hold-up”; and markets for patents and the valuation of patents. These databases are being made available to researchers on the Searle Center website.
As part of this initiative, the Searle Center will also host the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Trademark Case Files Dataset. This dataset contains information about approximately 6.7 million filed trademark applications and registrations issued between January 1870 and January 2012. The information in this dataset includes: data on mark characteristics, prosecution events, ownership classification, third-party oppositions, and renewal history. It, too, is available on the Searle Center website.
Taken together, the constituent elements of the project on Innovation Economics should generate new insights and pave the way for an understanding of the important roles that patents and other types of intellectual property play in innovation.
Congratulations to my colleagues at the Searle Center. I look forward to watching this project develop.
Last night at Salvage One in downtown Chicago, the CWC hosted its second annual benefit and awards ceremony. They honored the filmmakers of the Central Park Five and West Memphis documentaries and Rep. Scott Drury ’97 whose legislative work on behalf of justice reform has assisted greatly the innocence movement in Illinois.
The highlights of the evening were the remarkable comments by four recent exonerees. Collectively, they spent over sixty years in prison for crimes they did not commit. To an attentive crowd of 200+, they briefly told their stories and expressed their heartfelt gratitude to all the folks who helped their causes.
God bless each of these brave individuals. And, again, kudos to the remarkable work of this remarkable organization. I am very proud that it is a cornerstone of our Bluhm Legal Clinic at Northwestern Law School.
As always, a highlight for me was the opportunity to have a dialogue with the group about the Law School and its ambitions and activities. I noted that the reactions of the many law school leaders I had been working with in the past several months in connection with my work on behalf of the Association of American Law Schools could be broken into four categories: (1) Nothing has significantly changed. We are just fine and we will ride out this current, temporary set of difficulties by doing exactly what we have been doing all along; (2) The sky is falling and we need to scramble for cover; (3) Change is profound and, in order to adjust rapidly to the standard ways of doing business, we need a panacea, a new program, economic model, etc., which, as soon as we adopt it (whatever the “it” is), we will be able to right this sinking ship; and (4) While change is significant and important, we must, in adapting, stay true to who were are. We need to be innovative to be sure, but also have a clear, firm commitment to the fundamentals of educational excellence.
Naturally, I described the ways in which Northwestern is working within the structure of this fourth category.
DC alums were excited about this new alumni club and were excited and supportive about the state and direction of the Law School. We are proud of all our alums who, in our nation’s capital, are doing extraordinary things in law, business, and government. This area is an extraordinary, vibrant place to live and work and we will continue actively to reach out to DC alums with both social events and substantive programming.
NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY NEWS
NEW LAW DEGREE FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PROFESSIONALS
Leaders with technical expertise will be able to innovate better with legal know-how
CHICAGO — Northwestern University School of Law is offering a new Master of Science in Law (MSL), starting in fall 2014, designed specifically for professionals with backgrounds in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) and medicine.
STEM professionals are central drivers of today’s global economy, and the new one-year master’s program will support innovation and entrepreneurship by offering these professionals a fundamental understanding of how law and business intersect with technology.
Often using team-based projects, the master’s program will contextualize the complex web of intellectual property, regulatory, business contracting and licensing issues that scientists, engineers, medical practitioners and other STEM professionals around the world face. They will learn within the context of bringing the next new product to market, creating a startup, running a lab or developing a company’s innovation and patent strategy.
The degree is not meant to turn professionals with STEM backgrounds into lawyers. Rather, graduates of the MSL program will be better prepared to do what they do best and focus on the business of innovation and entrepreneurship. The difference is that they will do so with a solid understanding of how law and regulation affects opportunities, constraints, and perspectives on business goals and strategies, both locally and globally.
The MSL classes are entirely new and are specifically designed for STEM professionals. Classes will be taught by renowned Northwestern Law residential faculty and also industry experts from law, business and government, using a creative mix of teaching techniques
“Technical people increasingly have seats at the business table, and more and more of them are being called upon to lead — to sit at the head of the table,” said Emerson Tiller, senior associate dean of academic initiatives at Northwestern’s law school. “The MSL program will give these individuals the skill sets to communicate, direct and lead more effectively across the combined business, legal and regulatory specialties involved in technology-based initiatives.”
The entrepreneurship lab — a hallmark of the program — will expose students to all stages of the innovation process. They will come up with an idea for a business, design a prototype or model of their idea, draft a business plan, address issues of entity selection and intellectual property protection and launch a new business. The entrepreneurship lab will draw upon the law school’s participation in the University’s highly successful NUvention program, which brings together students from all over campus to engage in the entrepreneurship process and to learn from industry leaders and others about the process of design and innovation.
Students will have great flexibility in mapping a course of study in the MSL program, which can be completed in two semesters or part-time in up to eight semesters. They may mix and match from all areas of the curriculum or focus on one of the program’s three concentrations: patent/intellectual property, business law and entrepreneurship or regulatory analysis and strategy.
“In an increasingly interconnected world, where law and regulation is profoundly important, top law schools cannot think of legal training as solely for lawyers,” said Northwestern University School of Law Dean Daniel Rodriguez. “This program illustrates the law school’s ambitious effort to address a growing industry need to build meaningful, practical bridges across the fields of law, business and technology.”
Please join us for the portrait unveiling commemorating the long service and great contributions of my predecessor as dean, David Van Zandt. The event will be held next Friday, November 15, from 4 pm to 6 pm in Lowden Hall in the Levy-Mayer building of the Law School. David’s fifteen-year service as dean, ending in December of 2011, as he moved to New York City to lead The New School as president, was marked by extraordinary innovations and substantial progress. Many of the ambitious plans underway at the Law School, including the improving of our law and business programs, facilitating interdisciplinary teaching and research, and supporting unique programs such as our Accelerated JD and 3-year JD-MBA, build directly on creative foundations established during the period of David’s deanship.
We have put together five valuable working groups to develop initiatives and to map up our objectives, metrics, and implementation steps in order to develop a comprehensive, ambitious strategic plan. Many years we have been saying that we are building the great law school for a changing world, and we have been taking concrete steps to do exactly that. This strategic planning endeavor will give us the foundation and the collective enthusiasm to truly realize these bold goals.
The working groups are: Curriculum, Academic Programs and Initiatives, Student Life, Outreach, and Economics. In the coming weeks, leaders of these groups will be reaching out to myriad stakeholders, including alumni, for input and feedback about the direction of our thinking. Meanwhile, I welcome your views directly. E-mail me with your thoughts.
Our vision is a broad and deep one. We have specific, meaningful goals, both with respect to providing world-class training for our law students and with respect to developing strategies of legal education and public service which contribute to the well-being of the economy and of society. Our strategic plan will be built coherently around the twin goals of educating great lawyers and contributing to the world through our manifest commitments to justice, creative, interdisciplinary research at the highest levels, and the building of bridges across the too-often separate spaces of law, business, and technology. We will leverage existing resources and strengths to build upon our tradition of distinction. And we will also create and innovate. Big plans, focused strategies, hard work, all in the direction of improving our great law school.