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Venture Lab is a resource for science and technology faculty members at Georgia Tech. Jon Ziglar, now a third-year student, decided to come to Emory University School of Law.
SKILL SHARPENER 1. 800. 973.1177 Emory Student Blends Business, Law and Science [by Erica Winter] The TI:GER program had not even formally begun when Jon Ziglar, now a third-year student, decided to come to Emory University School of Law - but Ziglar heard about it on a visit to the campus. “The TI:GER program was the reason I decided to go to Emory,” he says, it “made the decision for me.” Ziglar graduated from Princeton in 1995 and This takes a lot of work, and a lot of time, a Faculty members in charge of the program spent some time as an investment banker in commitment which is one challenge for TI: are open to student suggestions, says Ziglar, New York City and San Francisco. He then did GER program participants. The law student and some fine-tuning has been done to TI: a stint with a software company before decid- on Ziglar’s team with an IP focus needed to GER. ing to go to law school. leave the program due to time constraints, he says, although she is still at Emory Law. One change is the addition of a link to Geor- With his business background and interest The program requires far more time than a gia Tech’s Venture Lab, says Ziglar. Venture in pursuing corporate law, Ziglar was a good regular law school class. The time spent on Lab is a resource for science and technology fit for the TI:GER program, and is one of 15 a project depends on the group and on the faculty members at Georgia Tech, explains third-year and 14 second-year JD students project at hand, says Ziglar. Some weeks, his Professor Margo Bagley, who oversees the in the program now. Participants are divided team puts in “a ton of hours,” says Ziglar, program on the Emory side. Scientists can into teams of one PhD science student and and some weeks are slower, like any work at use the lab to create early-stage inventions, one MBA student - both from Georgia Tech, a real-world business. which are ultimately owned by the university. plus two JD students from Emory - one who specializes in IP law, and the other who There are several fields of science involved For T program participants, however, if their focuses on business or corporate law. in the TI:GER program team projects, not just team’s science invention development is computer-science. Other projects include not moving at a pace to match with the legal The team that Ziglar is on demonstrates both inventions in biomedical science, rapid proto- research, and there is a necessary pause the rewards and challenges of the TI:GER typing of new products, and cell biology. on that front, then MBA and JD students program. The PhD student in the group is in the second program year can work with developing modeling software for semicon- The PhD science students are selected for real-life inventions - and their related busi- ductor design, he says. This invention is one the program first, then the right number of ness and legal issues - at Venture Lab. The of those in the program that has immediate MBA and JD students are chosen, and put on law students work under the supervision commercial applications, says Ziglar, and it teams with the scientists. Once accepted to of a law school faculty member, and assist is nearly complete. the program, the JD students hear presenta- the licensed attorney in doing legal work for tions by the PhD students on their inventions. Venture Lab inventors and inventions. The work - and seeing what the scientists Then the JD students rank their top three come up with - is exciting, says Ziglar. “They choices for the PhD student/ project to work While, ultimately, JD students in the program are far smarter than we are,” says Ziglar of with, says Ziglar; many got their first choices. do not draft actual patents or licensing his PhD student colleagues. The TI:GER pro- agreements or create companies - students gram serves to show the different working “The course is great because it really is cannot practice law in the course - they do methods and outlooks of the students from interdisciplinary,” says Ziglar. All team par- get a feel for what it is like to work with each area, and lets them understand and ticipants become more knowledgeable about professionals in other fields closely linked to value each other’s strengths. The scientists their own fields- PhD science students see their own. have vision, and long-range goals; they focus the legal and business sides of their work, on the invention itself, says Ziglar. The JD MBAs get a window into science and the law, The summer after his first year, Ziglar and MBA students, however, can help the and the JD students get a better understand- worked in the corporate group at the firm scientist navigate from “step 1” to “step 20” ing of the scientific process and the business Womble Carlyle. For his second summer, he and reach their goals in the best way. world. worked in the technology group at Kilpatrick PAGE 1 continued on back SKILL SHARPENER 1.800. 973. 1177 Stockton. Right now Ziglar is trying to decide on his next career step - whether he would like to go into venture capital business, or into venture capital law. Either way, the TI:GER program served him well. Overall, Ziglar says, the TI:GER course has been the most practical piece of his law school education. PAGE 2
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