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How Past GGU JD Alumni have used their Degree to Advance their Careers

Often, networking is an important aspect of one’s professional career. In the legal world, this is definitely the case. There are a variety of professional networks that exist, based on factors such as location and practice area. Networking allows you to make connections that can help you in your career – whether it is in small ways such as knowing someone at work or in larger ways, such as securing a job recommendation. 

Outside of professional networks, alumni networks are a strong resource for attorneys. Law schools have networking events that bring back alumni and some have mentorship programs as well. At the very least, seeing the same law school on your resume can give you a commonality to speak about during an interview. When considering a law school, the network that it can open you up to is something to look into. Seeing what a law school’s alumni have done with their degree can also aid in giving you, as a prospective student, some guidance on what you can do in the future.

Located in the heart of San Francisco’s financial, technology, and legal center, our JD Flex program at GGU School of Law is an ideal place to further your career in Intellectual Property law. Our IP Law Center, and expert faculty — many of whom are leading practitioners in IP law in the Bay Area — connect students to the wide-ranging network of esteemed GGU alumni, and to exciting internships and job opportunities.

Where to go With Your Degree

With a Juris Doctor and a specialty in IP law, there are many paths in which your career can take. You can pursue a career in:

  • Patent 
  • Trademark
  • Copyright
  • Prade secret
  • Privacy
  • Entertainment
  • Cyberlaw, and other critical areas.

Take Melanie McCormick, JD 17. She had a diverse career long before she enrolled in Golden Gate University’s law school. She worked for her father setting up computer accounting systems. Also, she spent 10 years as a chef in high-end restaurants in Chicago and San Francisco. After her daughter was born, she went back to school and became a paralegal. Realizing she loved the law, she obtained her JD from GGU. Pursuing the IP track, her dream job is to be in-house counsel at a videogame company, a future she can see happening with her degree. 

Where GGU Alumni Are Now

GGU alumni practice IP and privacy law at leading companies and law firms, including Apple; Google; Live Nation; Sony; Airbnb; Meta; Squire Patton Boggs; Polsinelli; O’Melveny & Myers; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius; Owen, Wickersham & Erickson; as well as many others. Here are two alumni spotlights:

Jennifer Lam, JD 08, works as Product Counsel for AirBnB. During her time at GGU, she interned with the District Attorney’s Office, the Mayor, and a tech company. It was with the latter that she realized that tech was where her passion was. Four years after she graduated, she was employed with AirBnB as their Product Counsel. Product counsel is a blend of marketing and advertising law, privacy, IP, and consumer protection, making sure customers are informed and treated fairly.

Eric Gelwicks, JD 10, was always passionate about music. Intrigued by the relationship between creating content and leveraging evolving technology, he pursued IP Law at GGU. He spent four years after graduating developing his skills in both litigation and transactional work as an associate attorney with a San Francisco-based firm that specializes in trademark and copyright law. It was then that he landed his dream job at LiveNation as their Associate Counsel and Manager, Business and Legal Affairs. Gelwicks’ tasks involve tasks involving artists’ rights, licensing, publicity and promotions, in-house general counsel responsibilities, and even working out trucking agreements and short-term leases with properties.

We make sure every alumnus knows that no matter how much time has passed since graduation, they can always rely on GGU. Professors are there to make introductions as are peers, and they all can be a resource to bounce legal issues off of as well when you want to chat about the complexities of intellectual property.  

GGU Can Open Doors

You may not have thought about networking capabilities as you looked into which law school to attend, but it is an important variable to consider. Golden Gate University School of Law not only is in a bustling city filled with opportunity, but our network of professors and alumni can help you as a student and beyond graduation as you launch your career. With GGU’s JD Flex program, you can complete your JD in less than four years, even while working full-time or dealing with other life obligations. The best part is, you have that flexibility while still being able to tap into and be a part of the GGU network.

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