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Former Scientist and Researcher Pursues a Legal Career in Bio-Technological Intellectual Property

Jenieke Allen

UIC Law graduate Jenieke Allen took a nontraditional path on her journey to law school. Coming from an intense STEM background, Jenieke possesses a bachelor’s and master’s degree in biological science. She spent most of her science career in the lab conducting research and teaching science to grade school students. After experiencing what she defined as a “career crisis” while pursuing her Ph.D. in Biomedical and Translational Sciences at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, Jenieke was introduced to the possibility of law school.

Jenieke had the opportunity to speak with a lawyer while working in the lab and she learned that they were working on patent applications for a few scientists. Until this point, Jenieke was unaware that she could utilize her love and passion for science advocacy and advancement in other industries. Thus, she set her sights on pursuing a career in intellectual property and patent law.

After completing her Ph.D. Jenieke left Los Angeles and joined the UIC Law community. During her time here, she has seized every opportunity to immerse herself in the world of intellectual property and patent law. Jenieke has served as Treasurer and President of the Intellectual Property Law Society, Vice-Chair of the Marketing and Communications and Membership committees for the Intellectual Property Law Association Chicago (IPLAC), worked in the UIC Law IP Patent Law Clinic, and was a student representative for the UIC Law Artificial Intelligence Taskforce. She also has made the Dean’s List twice and maintained status as a continuous member of Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society.

Despite her commitment to personally advancing her education, Jenieke states that UIC Law’s comprehensive curriculum in intellectual property law is what truly equipped her with the knowledge and skills necessary for success.

“UIC Law’s course offerings in IP are unique because the courses cater to all branches of IP law,” Jenieke said. “I had the opportunity to take courses in patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyright, and cyber security law; which contributed to the extensive knowledge I now have of the subjects and prepared me for a career in patent prosecution and litigation.”

Jenieke’s involvement in the Patent Law Clinic and Advanced Patent Law Clinic afforded her internships where she applied what she learned in her courses to draft patent applications for the clients she worked with. Additionally, she had the opportunity to intern with at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Intellectual Property Law Office where she had the opportunity to work on and write patent contracts for real clients.

She also credits the faculty and staff for fostering a supportive environment that encourages leadership and growth.

“The adjunct professors at UIC Law are often practicing attorneys who go above and beyond to teach the pertinent material by incorporating the application of the law and concepts with their experiences in their respective practices,” Jenieke said. “I learned to effectively synthesize and deliver arguments, draft patent applications, and license agreements because of the adjunct professors who generously gave their time to properly teach and train me.”

Jenieke is now eager to jumpstart her legal career with a focus on patent law after commencement. She plans to take the Patent Bar and Illinois Bar exams so she can ultimately work to advocate for innovators and inventors within the biomedical, pharmaceutical, and technological sectors.

I have planted roots in Chicago and even now I feel like I am truly just getting started. And I have UIC Law’s faculty and staff to thank for that.

Jenieke Allen  |  Ph.D.