Intellectual PropertyIP law relates to rights created in an individual’s or corporation’s creative and/or technical work product, and includes copyright, trademark, and patent law. IP work can be divided into solicitor-type work (e.g., drafting patents) and barrister-type work (e.g., going to court to enforce a trademark). As the nature of IP work can be quite technical, many IP lawyers, particularly those specializing in patent work, have a background in science or engineering. However, this is not a prerequisite for all opportunities in this area. Lawyers who pursue IP  law can be found in IP boutiques, full-service business law firms, some litigation boutiques, in-house legal departments, and government. If you are interested in IP litigation, please also review our Civil Litigation & Dispute Resolution page. Please review our Corporate law page for additional suggestions on pursuing a career in this area.
 

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What courses can I take?

Courses to consider in the upper years*

  • Intellectual Property
  • Competition Law
  • Copyright and Trademark
  • Copyright Policy in the Making
  • Entertainment Law
  • Patent & Trade Secrets
  • Business Organizations

*Not all courses are offered in each academic year. Please consult the Course Calendar and Upper Year Courses by Subject Area resources.

 

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How can I get hands-on experience?

Experiential opportunities

  • Structural Genomics Consortium Externship
  • Harold G. Fox Intellectual Property Moot
 

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How else can I get involved?

Community/volunteer

  • Technology and Intellectual Property Group
  • Participate in events at Centre for Innovation Law and Policy
 

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How can I connect with employers?

Work and networking ideas

Networking opportunities

  • Firm tours (check UTLC Events tab for details)
  • Informational interviews (go to UTLC > Resource Library > Interviews for guidance)
  • Events hosted by professional associations such as the Intellectual Property Section of the Canadian Bar Association
  • Lawyers Doing Cool Things

Paid opportunities

Employers offering paid summer and articling opportunities in this area include:

  • Bereskin and Parr LLP
  • Chitiz Pathak
  • Gilbert’s LLP
  • Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Many full-service business law firms also have substantial IP departments
  • IP work is also a common area of practice for in-house legal departments depending on the nature of the business
 

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What resources can I look at?

Online career resources and events

The following resources are available to current UofT Law students and alumni through UTLC:

  • Guide: Pathways to a Career in Intellectual Property Law
  • 1L Summer Employment Guide
  • Recruitment Guides: Students can find recruitment guides on UTLC listing IP positions for 1L summer, 2L summer and articling recruitment cycles for a range of legal markets
  • Article: So you want to be an IP lawyer without a technical background
  • General Articling Guide
  • CDO Event: Career Information Sessions (current students only)
  • Upper Year Student Directory to network with students who have worked for IP employers

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