Smith ’14 Passes Patent Bar, Prepares for Patent Law Career

| 3/10/2014 | Facebook | Twitter | Email

Four years ago, Amanda Smith ’14 worked at a leading manufacturer of synthetic resins and other chemical materials, helping the company develop and perform quality assurance tests for its many products. Now, after passing the patent bar exam and building an impressive resume, she is poised to move to the legal side of high technology.

“I enjoy the science, and I enjoyed working in a lab to a point, but ultimately the repetition of the lab tests made me consider other career options,” said Smith, a Clifton Park, N.Y., native who graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with an undergraduate degree in chemistry.

Since she was familiar with the patent law work necessary to protect her employer’s products, Smith realized that she might be able to bring her scientific expertise into the practice of law. She met with a few attorneys to discuss her options, ultimately enrolling at Albany Law School, where she has cultivated an impressive resume of technology-related internships.

During her fall 2L semester, Smith worked at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Office of Technology Commercialization, helping entrepreneurs and startup firms evaluate their business options with respect to existing and potential patents.

“The Technology Commercialization office was an important experience for me because it exposed me to the very first stage of the patent process,” explained Smith. “I was able to help vet nascent technology and help think strategically about how it might actually develop into good business.”

Smith also gained experience at an established and successful company when she interned in the intellectual property department at AngioDynamics, a Latham, N.Y., based medical device company with 1,400 employees in the United States, Europe and Asia. While with AngioDynamics, she drafted a patent application from scratch and filed it with the U.S. patent office.

President of the law school’s Intellectual Property Society, Smith has also worked with Government Law Center Director Ray Brescia to help four young entrepreneurs evaluate their patent options for a new business venture. The law school, through a new partnership with the SUNY College of NanoscaleScience and Technology, plans to increasingly give students the opportunity to help startups with early stage legal counsel.

“I was able to help vet nascent technology and help think strategically about how it might actually develop into good business.”

This semester, Smith is clerking two days each week with HoffmanWarnick LLC, an intellectual property law firm with an expansive practice spanning patent procurement, copyrights, trademarks, transactions, due diligence, opinions, licensing and litigation. This experience aligns with her plans upon graduating from Albany Law.

“I’d like to start out at a firm, where I can get broad experience with a lot of clients doing everything from advanced materials to biotechnology,” said Smith.  “I also hope to continue working with early stage startups.”