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CJ Fuenzalida Awarded National Fellowship in Intellectual Property Law

June 28, 2019

CJ Fuenzalida, a second-year law student at Lewis & Clark Law School, is one of 30 law students selected for the national fellowship from the Hispanic Bar National Association’s Intellectual Property Law Institute (IPLI). Co-sponsored by Microsoft, the highly competitive fellowship funds students’ participation in IPLI’s IP Law immersion program.

Fuenzalida spent a week in Washington D.C., where the immersion program took place. The program provided substantive instruction, hands-on practical experience, writing workshops, visits to U.S. government institutions related to IP law (Patent and Trademark Office, Copyright Office, Federal Trade Commission, House and Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S. International Trade Commission, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit), briefings from leading IP practitioners and congressional and executive branch authorities, mentorship relationships, and networking opportunities. 

“My major takeaway from the program is that IP legislation is not changing fast enough to address the rapidly growing science and technology fields,” Fuenzalida said. “This is largely due to political reasons and much of the reforms that IP experts have encouraged just haven’t been able to make it to legislation.”

The experience also opened up career opportunities Fuenzalida had not considered. During a visit to the United States Patent and Trademark Office she discovered that she could consider a career as a patent or trademark examiner. “I had never come across that line of work before and it sounded like a great alternative career to keep in mind for after law school.” 

Hispanics currently represent more than 17% of the U.S. population but account for only 1.8% of intellectual property lawyers. For six years, IPLI has sought to increase representation by expanding understanding of IP law, bolstering Latino role models, and channeling law students into the field. 

“Professor Lydia Loren and I were thrilled to learn that C.J. had been selected for this prestigious fellowship. It is a great honor and one that is well deserved,” said professor Tomás Gómez-Arostegui, Kay Kitagawa & Andy Johnson-Laird IP Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law.  

For CJ, a major highlight of the program was going through a writing workshop led by the Honorable Jimmie V. Reyna and witnessing patent cases being litigated in United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Judge Reyna practiced international trade and customs law and policy in Washington, D.C. for over 25 years and served as 2006-07 National President for the Hispanic National Bar Association.

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