The Iowa Innovation, Business & Law Center is pleased to once again offer summer stipends to students working in unpaid positions in intellectual property, antitrust, corporate, business, health, technology, entertainment, or art law, or related fields.  These stipends are available for Summer 2015; stipend amounts vary from $1,000 to $3,000 each.  Interested students should submit applications by April 15. 

Recent recipients of IBL summer stipends have worked health law at a non-profit Iowa medical services provider, copyright law at a large museum, technology law and policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and more.

One summer 2015 recipient, Alec Modrick, spent last summer in the Patent Externship Exchange Program at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Alexandria, VA.  There, he received a crash course on patent examination while working alongside patent examiners on actual office actions. The program was one of the more valuable experiences he has had as a law student. “Last summer will undoubtedly serve me well in the future,” said Modrick.  But like may other worthwhile summer opportunities, his position was unpaid.  To help cover the cost of living away from Iowa City during the program, Modrick applied for and received an IBL summer stipend. The stipend “prevented this exceptional learning experience from being in any way tarnished by the financial burden it would have otherwise imposed upon me,” Modrick added.

“Providing these stipends is one of the many ways the Center accomplishes its mission of offering outstanding legal training in the areas pertaining to law and business,” explained Prof. Jason Rantanen, “and it is personally rewarding for me as well to learn about the students’ experiences when they return in the fall.  With the USPTO externships, for example, students get an insider’s view of how the patent office operates, an opportunity that cannot be duplicated by other forms of summer work experience.”

To apply for a stipend, students should submit a letter to Prof. Rantanen describing the position, the projects or legal issues on which the student will work, information about whether the student will be paid, and other relevant information about the student’s financial needs including expected expenses associated with taking the position. Confirmation of employment from the employer will also be required.

--Jay Stirling | March 16, 2015