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Emory Student Blends Business, Law and Science


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.

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									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

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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.


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