RIIPL supports current students of Rutgers Law by educating our student community about the many ways that law, emerging technologies, market actors, and civic institutions interact.
RIIPL events are open to all students at Rutgers, not just those who wish to practice in the field of information law. Increasingly, lawyers in almost all fields of practice are encountering issues related to information law. Although the RIIPL directors teach intellectual property, the “IP” in RIIPL stands for “information policy.” Although the laws of intellectual property are a key part of the information landscape, there are many other areas of law (e.g. communications law, privacy law, defamation law, cybersecurity law) that are becoming increasingly important to legal practice. Accordingly, students aspiring to practice in the field of “information policy” might follow a range of career paths.
PLEASE NOTE: There is a common misconception among students (and even some lawyers) that intellectual property law can only be practiced by those with science and engineering backgrounds. This is simply not true. Many fields of intellectual property and information law do not require scientific knowledge, and many successful intellectual property law practitioners have undergraduate degrees in the humanities. The only field where a scientific background is required for practice is the highly technical field of patent prosecution, where a certain number of science courses are required for admission to the bar of the United States Patent Office. However, you can take and do well in patent law classes without a technical background and you do not need to be admitted to the patent bar to litigate patent disputes in federal courts. Additionally, many lawyers practice in fields of intellectual property and information law that are focused on fields other than patent law.
If you are a current student at Rutgers Law and you’d like to know more about information policy law, feel free to email one of the Institute directors (Professors Carrier, Goodman, or Lastowka) to set up a time to speak with us about your interests and aspirations. This portion of the website is designed to provide you with a general overview of how information policy intersects with the professional practice of law.
We have created the following sub-pages to help you learn about IP at Rutgers Law:
- IP-related courses and course packages at Rutgers Law
- Law school and legal professional organizations that focus on IP law
- Online resources and news sites