Iowa Law has many alumni working in various innovation and business law-related fields. This article spotlights a few of these alumni.

Dorian Cartwright, 2001

Dorian Cartwright is a patent attorney in San Jose, California who runs his own firm, The Law Office of Dorian Cartwright. Cartwright specializes in patent prosecution, primarily for high-tech companies. Most of his clients are established businesses but some are startups. Cartwright views this as one of his favorite parts of his job. “One of the more exciting things about working in Silicon Valley is that I get to work with entrepreneurs and startups,” Cartwright explained. “It’s an exciting area and an exciting time to be here.” While Cartwright also does some licensing and pre-litigation patent analysis, he describes the bulk of his patent prosecution work as being “the intermediary between the inventor and the patent office.” At Iowa Law, Cartwright was a Research Assistant to a professor specializing in intellectual property law. Cartwright used the opportunity to assist in work in this area to help focus his future career prospects.

Jay Stirling, 2015

A recent graduate, Jay Stirling is an attorney at Potter, Anderson, and Corroon in Delaware. Stirling focuses his practice on corporate litigation, which frequently involves disputes between shareholders and corporate management, but also handles a few transactional cases. Stirling explained that “one of the benefits of working in Delaware is that when disputes arise in big deals that people hear about on the news, they find their way to Delaware. It’s fun to work on a case where people recognize the parties.” Stirling’s favorite part of practicing litigation is that (usually) there’s a clear winner and loser. “Sometimes in the law the answer is often, ‘it depends,’ but at a certain point a judge is going to decide and say ‘the answer to this question is . . .’ and I like the process of not only being able to think about interesting legal questions and develop a position, but what makes it extra satisfying is that we get to test it out.” In law school, Stirling was a Research Assistant for Professor Rantanen and attended most of the IBL Center’s events. “The IBL Center has a way of focusing faculty a little bit,” Stirling noted. “In the real world, clients need attorneys who can do multiple things, and the IBL Center helped faculty be more conscientious of those nuances.”

Michelle Wallace, 2015

Michelle Wallace is an associate with the Washington, D.C. office of Covington & Burling LLP. Wallace began working at the firm after finishing a clerkship with Judge Clevenger on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. At Covington, Wallace primarily works in patent law. She deals with various patent matters, from inter partes review to appellate work at the Federal Circuit to patent prosecution. As a student, Wallace knew she was interested in practicing patent law. “I took advantages of the opportunities at Iowa Law,” Wallace explained. “I participated in moot court, IMIG, and the patent prosecution seminar to explore my interests. I found out I did enjoy patent law and decided to make a career out of it.” Wallace also found that “the IBL Center was a great resource, especially for the patent program, which had a huge impact on developing my career path in law school.” Now, as a patent attorney, Wallace loves to learn about the patents she’s working on from the experts. “Talking to experts who are at the top of their specific field is a great experience. It’s wonderful to learn from them and hear their expertise or opinion on different patents,” Wallace said.

Christine Lebron-Dykeman, 1996

Christine Lebron-Dykeman, an intellectual property attorney at McKee, Voorhees & Sease, has found her place in the legal world. After practicing at a large law firm in San Francisco for several years, Lebron-Dykeman returned to Iowa where she joined her current firm. At MVS, a boutique intellectual property law firm in Des Moines, Lebron-Dykeman focuses her practice on litigation. From trademarks and trade secrets to patent disputes, Lebron-Dykeman does it all. In addition to her litigation work, she also prosecutes trademarks through the Patent and Trademark Office, helps clients manage their brands, and provides general client counseling on IP rights and how to protect IP interests once a client has them. While IP was not the area of law in which she expected to practice, Lebron-Dykeman feels fortunate to have ended up where she is. “This is an area of law where most of the time we’re helping to protect something our clients have developed themselves,” Lebron-Dykeman explains. “It’s a wonderful thing to feel like you’re a part of what your clients do. A lot of times I get to see things I have helped protect out in the market place.”

​Amanda Marincic - March 19, 2017