UTRF Interns Q&A
UTRF’s Knoxville office welcomed its third class of interns in May 2014, Jeremy Ray, Jake Stein and Shane Kaster. The interns work closely with the licensing associates, assisting in the evaluation, marketing and licensing of technology developed at the University. UTRD interns work full time over the summer but hours are reduced to 10 hours per week when classes resume.
Q & A With Jeremy, Jake And Shane:
What’s The Name Of Your Hometown?
Jeremy: Smyrna, Tennessee.
Jake: I was born in Cookeville, TN and grew up in Franklin, TN. I also spent a lot of time at my grandparent’s farm in Gordonsville, TN.
Shane: Louisville, KY
How Did You Choose UT?
Jeremy: I never seriously considered another law school. UT offers all the things I was looking for in a school at a great price for in-state students.
Jake: In-state tuition was too good to pass up. I went to undergrad at the UT campus in Martin and heard from many graduates what a great experience they had at UT College of Law. While training in martial arts, I got to train/spar with UT alumnus and former Tennessee Attorney General, Paul Summers, who highly recommended that I go to UT.
Shane: Selecting a grad school was a difficult decision. While attending undergrad at Vanderbilt, I developed an undeniable fondness for the state of Tennessee, which in turn, led to a growing desire to begin my career here. UT’s expansive network of professional alumni stood out as an obvious employment advantage within the state. Ultimately, however, the deciding factor was financial. After evaluating the costs and likely benefits among several schools, I determined that UT could provide me with the highest educational value for my dollar. Also, the recently updated law and business school facilities, UT’s affiliation with the Southeastern Conference, and Knoxville’s vibrant social scene were a few other considerations that impacted my decision.
How Did You Become Interested In Tech Transfer?
Jeremy: I started law school knowing I was interested in intellectual property. I was exposed to tech transfer while working with the intellectual property attorneys over at Oak Ridge National Lab and really enjoyed it. I enjoy the learning experience of dealing with truly innovative technologies and hope I will be able to continue this throughout my career.
Jake: I was a biologist in my first career, so I anticipated specializing in intellectual property law. Tech transfer is a natural fit for my interests and expertise.
Shane: As a 1L who did not yet have the opportunity to enroll in any IP law courses, I was intrigued by the opportunity to gain firsthand exposure to IP issues. I anticipated that this exposure would prepare me for relevant coursework in the future or, at the very least, give me some insight into whether I was seriously interested in practicing IP law. Additionally, as a J.D./M.B.A candidate with a background in corporate strategy and marketing, I was predictably drawn to tech transfer because of its interrelatedness with marketing and business development. All things considered, I was most excited by the prospect of learning about novel technologies and contributing to their commercial development from the lab/incubator to the marketplace.
What Do You Feel Is The Best Part Of Interning With UTRF?
Jeremy: I have been exposed to a number of interesting technologies in the short time I have been working with UTRF. My favorite part of the job is meeting with our university inventors to further understand their inventions and their expectations for the technologies.
Jake: Working with UTRF allows me to get experience communicating with both attorneys and inventors to help bridge the gap between intellectual property law and research. I really like being able to objectively look at new and cutting-edge technology from a different perspective than I did in the lab. Prior to working at UTRF, my focus was what questions one can answer with the research we were participating in. Now, I can reorient myself to see how that research might translate into commercially successful technologies.
Shane: I enjoy the unique intellectual challenges that each day brings. Specifically, because I do not possess a highly technical or scientific academic background, I am continually exposed to a broad spectrum of concepts and specialized terminology which I have not previously encountered. I also greatly enjoy the marketing and interactive components of the job that grant me opportunities to communicate with key industry executives concerning the commercialization potential of new technologies. On another note, much can be said about the camaraderie within the office as well. Without question, the company culture at UTRF is among the best of any company or organization I have worked for previously, perfectly striking the balance between friendliness and professionalism.
What Year And With What Degree Will You Graduate?
Jeremy: I will graduate in May of 2015 with my Juris Doctorate.
Jake: I will graduate in May of 2015 with my Juris Doctorate.
Shane: I will graduate in May of 2017 with my Juris Doctorate and Master of Business Administration.
What Do You Hope To Do After Graduation?
Jeremy: Upon graduation I plan to join a law firm that focuses primarily on intellectual property and patent law. I would prefer to stay in Knoxville, but I am also looking for jobs in Nashville, Chattanooga, Atlanta, and other places around the Southeast.
Jake: I hope to work in a firm prosecuting and litigating patents and other intellectual property.
Shane: I hope to practice corporate law in some capacity – e.g., transactions, securities, M&A, IP, etc.
What’s Your Favorite Hobby?
Jeremy: Watching UT football and playing disc golf.
Jake: Training in martial arts (Aikido, Systema, Western Boxing) and hiking.
Shane: I enjoy going to the movies, spending time outdoors, and playing sports with friends. And recently, I have been learning to play the guitar.