Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 20

FEATURE
WE
BELONG
W
Black Law Students
in the IP Pipeline
By John Murph
hen Lalla Maiga applied to the
Finnegan IP Summit in 2023,
she wasn't optimistic about her
chances of getting accepted
after having been turned down by numerous
programs in the past. " At some point,
you start having imposter syndrome, "
Maiga says. " You tell yourself that you
are just not good enough to get these
opportunities. "
Maiga, a fourth-year student at Catholic University of America Columbus
School of Law, has a bachelor's degree in computer science and mathematics
from PennWest Edinboro and a master's degree in information
systems from Marymount University. She has also spent nearly two decades
in litigation support at Big Law firms.
20 WASHINGTON LAWYER
* MARCH/APRIL 2024
LALLA MAIGA, Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law
" I didn't have as much time as my peers to do everything that others
could do, like becoming a summer associate or doing internships that
would then lead to maybe a job opportunity, " Maiga says.
LaQuan Bates, a student at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey
School of Law, was also reluctant to apply. " Being African American in
this space, a lot of people question how you got here, not only in law
school but [also] in the intellectual property space, because there is a
huge myth that in order to be an intellectual property attorney you need
that hard science background, " says Bates.
" A lot of my peers have computer science, pharmaceutical, or medical
backgrounds. But I just have an information technology degree. I was an
avid gamer, " Bates says. " So, coming to that realization, the imposter syndrome
kicked in right away. "
Finnegan proved them wrong. In August 2023, Maiga and Bates joined
13 other law students for the firm's inaugural IP Summit, which presented
them multiple opportunities to meet with seasoned IP attorneys,
judges, and others through visits to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office,
the U.S. International Trade Commission, and the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Federal Circuit.
" When I got the summit approval, it boosted my confidence because
I had gotten a lot of noes, " Maiga says. " [The summit] allowed me to reflect
more on how I could use my experience to inspire [others] - those
prospective and current law students who may need the handholding
that I did not necessarily get throughout this journey, " says Maiga.
Today Maiga juggles legal internships at the American Bankers Association
and the Maryland State Attorney's Office with parenting and law school.
John Murph

Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024

Notice to Members
From Our President
Calendar of Events
Practice Management
Toward Well-Being
Defending Diversity: Rise of DEI-Focused Practices
Will Law Firms Stay the Course on Improving Diversity?
Unlocking the Potential of Diverse Talent
We Belong: Black Students in the IP Talent Pipeline
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor: Her Legacy Lives on Through Us
Get to Know The Appellate Project
Speaking Up for Lawyers With Invisible Disability
Special Section: 25 Years of the Youth Law Fair
Taking the Stand
Worth Reading
Member Spotlight
On Further Review
Attorney Briefs
Speaking of Ethics
Disciplinary Summaries
The Pro Bono Effect
A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 1
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 2
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 3
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 4
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Notice to Members
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Toward Well-Being
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Defending Diversity: Rise of DEI-Focused Practices
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 11
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 12
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 13
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Will Law Firms Stay the Course on Improving Diversity?
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 15
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 16
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 17
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Unlocking the Potential of Diverse Talent
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 19
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - We Belong: Black Students in the IP Talent Pipeline
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 21
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 22
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 23
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Justice Sandra Day O’Connor: Her Legacy Lives on Through Us
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 25
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Get to Know The Appellate Project
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 27
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Speaking Up for Lawyers With Invisible Disability
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 29
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 30
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 31
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Special Section: 25 Years of the Youth Law Fair
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 33
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Taking the Stand
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 35
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 36
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 39
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Speaking of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 43
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 45
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - The Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - 47
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2024 - Cover4
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