Two rising second-year Miami Law students – Antonio Hernandez and Jose Vazquez – have been chosen to participate in the inaugural HNBA/Microsoft IP Law Institute in July in Washington, D.C. with 25 other nationally selected law students.
Horacio Gutiérrez, J.D.'98, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel in charge of the Microsoft Corporation's worldwide intellectual property group started the week-long IP Law immersion program. The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) and Microsoft Corporation with HNBA Corporate Counsel Conference in Atlanta, Georgia created this new and bold partnership designed to increase the number of Latino lawyers in U.S. intellectual property law. Microsoft has pledged $200,000.00 over three years to help fund the HNBA/Microsoft IP Law Institute.
"It is truly humbling to represent Miami Law this upcoming July in the HBNA / Microsoft IP Law Institute," said Hernandez, who is clerking this summer for Florida Supreme Court Justice Fred Lewis, J.D.'72. "As a Cuban-American native of South Florida, being selected from the national applicant pool is particularly meaningful. I look forward to the opportunity to learn from and meet leaders in the Hispanic Intellectual Property Law community. Iwould like to thank the Career Development Office for its help, without which I would miss out on this incredible new program."
The IP Law Institute will provide substantive instruction including: hands-on practical experience, writing workshops, visits to U.S. government institutions related to IP law (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, U.S. International Trade Commission, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit), briefings from leading IP practitioners and congressional and executive branch authorities, and networking opportunities, that will give participants a broad understanding of IP law practice as well as contacts and avenues for potential employment.
"The Microsoft-HNBA IP Law Institute is a rare once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will open many doors," said Vazquez, who emigrated from Cuba when he was twelve, and is currently working as an intern at the University of Miami Health Rights Clinic.
"I am looking forward to this exciting program that will surely lead my legal career into a path I never imagined. Without the help from my advisor, Sarah Klein, and the encouragement of Deans Georgina Angones and Raquel Matas, I probably would have never applied for this amazing program. I am honored to represent the University of Miami School of Law at such a national level."
"The Microsoft-HNBA IP Law Institute is a rare one in a lifetime opportunity that will open many doors," said Vazquez. "I am looking forward to this exciting program that will surely lead my legal career into a path I never imagined."
Those that created the partnership believe that Innovation is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy and IP law is an increasingly important factor in America's future economic strength. Yet, statistics show that Hispanic lawyers are underrepresented in the field of IP law. The low numbers suggest a lack of understanding about IP law, a lack of role models, and a misconception about the skills and background needed to practice in the IP field. The HNBA/Microsoft IP Law Institute is committed to changing those statistics.
"I am extremely proud to have two members of my alma mater be among the 25 students chosen to participate in the HNBA/Microsoft IP Law Institute," said Gutierrez. "It was a highly competitive selection process and I have no doubt that this will be a tremendous opportunity for their professional growth."