jie lian headshot

Jie Lian

Degree: JD ’20
Area(s) of study:
  • Business Law
  • Intellectual Property
Type of workplace:
  • Law firm
Practice area(s):
  • Business Law
  • Intellectual Property Law

Prior Education:

University of Illinois at Chicago, 2002, PhD in bioengineering;

OHUS & Portland State University, 2011, MBA in healthcare management.

What I am doing with my law degree:

I am an associate attorney at Klarquist Sparkman, LLP, a boutique intellectual property law firm in Portland, Oregon. My current practice focuses on preparation and prosecution of U.S., international, and foreign patent applications, and performing patentability and prior art searches and freedom-to-operate analysis. I have the opportunities to work with a diverse client base ranging from Fortune 500 companies to individual inventors, and cover different technologies including medical devices, sensor fabrication, computer software, internet of things, consumer products, etc. I am hoping to expand my practice to patent litigation and post-grand proceedings, as well as trademark and copyright matters.

Best experience at Lewis & Clark:

The classroom learning experience itself. As an evening student, I must juggle between daytime work, school study and family responsibilities. Despite the challenging schedule and workload, I found escape in the classroom where I can focus on learning and exploring legal topics that were foreign to me. After working in the industry for over ten years, I considered it a luxury to return to classroom and be intellectually challenged. I felt like a thirsty sponge absorbing knowledge untiringly.

Why I focused on Intellectual Property Law:

It was an easy choice for me. I enjoy learning new technologies and exploring new frontiers. When I worked in the medical device industry, I had developed a passion for innovation and filed a number of patents as an inventor. I also ventured into the business world and got involved in Portland’s startup scene. To me, research, business and law are intertwined, and intellectual property law lies at their intersection. Thus, I am excited about the tremendous learning opportunities and growth potentials when I have the opportunities to combine them together.

Advice for prospective and current law students:

Don’t overstress yourself – take a nap when you are tired. Go to networking events, find support and support others. Be open to change – the law school education can rewire your brain and change the way you think. Treasure your learning experience – time flies and you will miss it dearly after you graduate.

When I am not working:

Hiking, jogging, soccer, cooking, and spending time with my family.

Prior Education

University of Illinois at Chicago, PhD Bioengineering

Graduating Year



Zhengzhou, China