Posted: July 23rd, 2018
Matt Welch (JD ’19) talks about his summer positions at multiple law firms this summer. He also talks about his decision to attend Wake Forest School of Law.
Where do you call home?
Where did you study for your undergraduate degree?
Where are you working this summer?
I am a summer associate at three different law firms: Dority & Manning, P.A. in Greenville, South Carolina, Baker Botts LLP in Washington, D.C., and Hogan Lovells in Houston, Texas.
Are you working in a specific area of law?
Yes. I studied mechanical engineering as an undergraduate and passed the patent bar before I started law school. I always knew I wanted to practice patent law; however, I never understood all the options that were available to me.
Through my summer associate experiences, I have learned that I not only can draft patent applications, but that I can also work on litigation matters before federal courts, the International Trade Commission (USITC), the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (USPTO).
Besides working with cutting edge technology companies, I find this area of law attractive, because I can have a practice that encompasses prosecution, transaction, and litigation. I truly believe this is one of the few areas where attorneys can work in all these different fields.
Describe a typical day at your summer position.
Like most other legal fields there is no such thing as a typical day. However, through my prior experiences, I have learned that patent attorneys can work on drafting a patent in the morning, file a brief for a litigation matter at lunch, and then counsel a client on their patent portfolio in the afternoon.
And this is truly what makes being a patent attorney so interesting. Not only can you work in so many different areas, but the work you are doing is truly cutting-edge and complex. It makes going to the office every day an adventure and truly allows you to go home at night feeling satisfied with what you have accomplished.
Describe your 1L summer experience.
My 1L summer I split between Dority & Manning, P.A. in Greenville, South Carolina and Hogan Lovells in Houston, Texas.
At Dority & Manning, P.A., I was able to draft multiple responses to office actions for patent applications. I also was able to draft an initial utility patent application. Both the responses and the patent application were filed with USPTO.
At Hogan Lovells, I worked on an ongoing patent litigation case as well as patent prosecution matters. For the patent litigation, I was able to draft initial responses to interrogatories and document requests. For patent prosecution matters, I drafted responses to office actions that were filed with the USPTO and I conducted a meeting with an inventor. In addition, I was able to work on the initial stages of a trademark infringement case.
Why did you decide to attend Wake Forest Law?
I decided to attend Wake Forest Law, because of its academic offerings and community. I knew I wanted to practice intellectual property law and Wake Forest is one of the few schools that offers a plethora of intellectual property classes. It also is one of the highest ranked law schools in the Southeast and has a great name in many large legal markets.
In addition to course offerings, Wake Forest has a great sense of community. Its small 1L classes allow students to make lasting bonds with their classmates and professors. Because of that, I not only have many friends for life, but also professors that I can call on whenever I need advice in the future.
Describe the Wake Forest community.
Wake Forest is the perfect size to foster a sense of community. I’ve met many friends I know I will have for life, including one who will be a groomsman at my wedding. This was only possible, because of Wake Forest and the sense of community it fosters.
In addition to meeting a number of great friends, I have also been able to make bonds with a number of faculty members. Through this I have been fortunate enough to work as a faculty research assistant, where I have helped professors with myriad of tasks, including the drafting of a contracts textbook.
What is your most memorable experience during law school (thus far)?
My most memorable experience in law school was meeting my future wife. We met my second semester of 1L year. I never attended Wake Forest thinking I would encounter the most incredible human being I have ever met. But it happened. While Wake Forest has certainly allowed me to reach my full potential in the legal field, it also helped foster a community where I was lucky enough to meet the person I will spend the rest of my life with.
What are you involved in outside the classroom?
Outside the classroom, I have served on the Wake Forest Student Bar Association (SBA) for three years, been an officer in the intellectual property group on campus, and participated in a number of intramural sports teams.
What do you do for fun in Winston-Salem when you aren’t studying?
I am a founding member of the law school’s Golf Club and Racket club. I also love running, hiking, and scuba diving. Luckily, there are plenty of great options for running around campus, and Winston-Salem is only a few hours from the beach and isn’t too far from nearby mountains and lakes.
Where do you want your law degree to take you?
After law school, I plan on being an intellectual property attorney and helping clients on sophisticated prosecution, transactional, and litigation matters. Attending Wake Forest has allowed me to accomplish this goal and I am forever grateful for that.