Caitlin O’Connell, Class of ’16
Future Intellectual Property Associate, Finnegan
Reputation is what initially drew Caitlin O’Connell to Scalia Law’s Class of 2016. “I knew I wanted to work in the D.C. area,” she says, “so I wanted to make sure that I found a school with a strong reputation. Every person that I spoke with had nothing but good things to say about Mason and most firms in the D.C. area had hired Scalia Law alumni.”
Yet, it was Scalia Law’s strong curriculum and specialized intellectual property law concentration that assured her enrollment. Says Caitlin, “I knew that I wanted to practice IP law so I wanted to find a school that would allow me to take IP classes. The other schools I was considering also offered similar classes; however, many of the area-specific classes at Scalia Law are taught by actual practitioners. Having a class taught by a practitioner gives students the chance to learn from individuals who have been practicing in the area for years and who are experts in the field.”
Caitlin is equally enthusiastic about Scalia Law’s faculty and staff. “The faculty and staff at Scalia Law set the school apart from all of the other schools that I considered. The Career, Academic, and Alumni Services (CAAS) office went out of their way from day one to answer my questions and to ensure that I had all of the information that I needed to make my final decision. I could tell from these interactions that Mason was invested in their students and their students’ success. Because the school is smaller than many of the other schools in the area, each student is able to receive individualized attention to ensure that they have a great law school experience.”
“My professors continuously offer us research opportunities and send us job openings that they have heard about through their contacts. The career services staff has combed through every word of my resume and cover letter to ensure that it is the best it possibly can be. They have also helped me to develop a strategy for applying to firms for a summer associate position, which was a tremendous help in the crowded D.C. job market. They set up several different opportunities for practicing interview skills to ensure that everyone is well-prepared for their screening and call-back interviews. Finally, the academic services staff has helped me to plan out my schedule every semester to ensure that I am on track to complete the Patent Law Track degree requirements while also ensuring that I can take any other classes that I am interested in. Due to this individualized attention at every step of the way, I have been put in the best position to succeed in both school and in my career.”
Caitlin will begin her practice as an intellectual property lawyer after graduation at Finnegan.