Britten Sessions is an Associate Dean at Lincoln Law School, where he manages and teaches in the Intellectual Property (IP) Department. Prof. Sessions also founded and directs the school’s IP Clinic - the only USPTO approved non-ABA law school Clinic in the United States. Prof. Sessions also practices law as a patent attorney and has authored several peer-reviewed publications and IP-related books.
What inspired you to study law?
My dad is an attorney and loved going to work every day. He indicated frequently that law opened all doors in his life. With his law degree, he opened his own practice, wrote his own textbooks, authored a weekly column in the newspaper, and even taught. He opened my eyes that with a law degree, it can open doors to doing almost anything.
How has having a law degree impacted your life? (i.e., career path, etc.)
My bachelor’s degree was in engineering. I often liken such education to training me in an analytical manner with respect to numbers. It is the laws of science. Law school trained me in an analytical manner with respect to words. It is the laws of society. Both of these training help me to function in my current profession as a patent attorney, where I use the laws of society to capture the laws of science.
What drew you to teaching at Lincoln Law School?
Flexibility to teach on the side. Diversity of the student body. Demographics of those who typically would not be able to go to law school. Location in downtown San Jose.
What is your advice for current or prospective students?
A law degree can assist you with any profession or position you may have an interest in. It teaches you how to think – which is fundamental for any job. From this perspective, a law degree will only be a benefit to you regardless of the outcome. Additionally, I’ve found that a law degree can open the door to not only practicing law, in particular, but to also teaching, writing, providing service through pro-bono activities, associating with high quality individuals, contributing to political groups, etc. It simply opens doors.
Do you have a favorite teaching moment?
Before being a law professor, I taught French many years ago. Often they say that when you teach you learn the most. And it is true for me. Whenever I teach it is an opportunity for me to learn more. Additionally, when one enters law school, almost every student starts with altruistic aspirations. When they finish, however, many are constrained by paying back loans to such an extent that altruistic activities are often shelved. One of my favorite teaching moments is when I realized that teaching can not only be a learning experience for me, but additionally, and perhaps even more so, an opportunity for me to simply give back. Teaching is an avenue for me to give back and gain fulfillment in providing a much needed service to the community.
What is a moment that stands out to you during your law career?
A defining moment in my law career occurred when, early in my career, a patent portfolio my team had worked on and contributed to for many years ended up being sold by the owner for more than 8 figures. It is always a good feeling to know that you succeed for your client. But it is even better to deliver results higher than expected. This moment for me was a personal validation that my team can provide high results, and that the market will back such efforts and value.
What is the IP Clinic? (We can include a link to the IP Clinic site for those interested in learning more.)
More can be found at www.lincolnipclinic.com. The Intellectual Property Clinic at Lincoln Law School of San Jose ("Clinic") is a pro-bono clinic that operates on an academic calendar year basis and is open from late August to early April. The Clinic includes the only patent clinic and is one of two trademark clinics in all Northern California. Additionally, it is strategically located to facilitate interaction with the United States Patent and Trademark Office satellite office in Silicon Valley. The IP Clinic allows students to have “hands on” experience in working with professors, inventors, businesses, and other local entities. Under the direction of a supervising attorney or licensed patent agent, students work with clients in areas of trademarks and patents. Students interact directly with the USPTO to file and prosecute patent and trademark applications. The Law School provides many courses relating to IP and has many faculty members with a background specifically focused on patents, copyrights, or trademarks.
Prof. Sessions has been repeatedly ranked as a world-leading IP Strategist by Intellectual Asset Management magazine and is recognized as a lawyer by Super Lawyers. In 2016, Prof. Sessions was listed in the Silicon Valley Business Journal "Top 40 under 40.”
Interested in learning more about what Lincoln Law School and the IP Clinic have to offer? Contact our Student Care Ambassadors for more information today!