On Friday, October 10, 2014, as part of Alumni Reunion Weekend, Iowa Law alumni including Scott Timmerman, a patent prosecutor and litigator, met with current law students during lunch to talk about their career paths. Timmerman practices at the Chicago office of Brinks, Gilson & Lione, an intellectual property law firm.

As an undergraduate at Iowa, Timmerman (BS ’01; JD ’04) triple majored in physics, computer science, and mathematics. “I applied to grad schools and law schools without a decision on which to pursue.  The more that I looked into patent law, the more that it sounded like something that would be interesting and a good fit for me,” he explained.

Having decided to pursue a career in patent law, Timmerman soon realized he wanted to work at an I.P. boutique, that is, a firm specializing in only Intellectual Property.  “The environment at the boutiques I visited were more my style than general practice firms,” Timmerman said. “Also, I have a technical background and most attorneys at an I.P. boutique also have technical backgrounds, so I felt comfortable in that kind of setting.” That a firm is a boutique does not necessarily imply anything about the firm’s size. Brinks, Gilson & Lione has more than 160 attorneys spread over six offices.

Timmerman spoke highly of his time as a research assistant in law school. He spent two years working for Professor Mark Janis (now at the University of Indiana’s Maurer School of Law). Timmerman frequently researched hypothetical problems for Janis’s books. “It was the closest thing I did in law school to the work I did as a young associate,” Timmerman explained. “Professor Janis would give me novel questions to research, which is essentially what I spent my early years in practice doing.”

--Jay Stirling | December 2, 2014