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Kieff Emerging as Top Young IP and Patent
F. Scott Kieff faced a conundrum. Fewer than 10 years removed from law school and close in age to some of his law school students, he wanted to share his rich real-world experience — he co-authored a leading book on patent law and had worked on many important intellectual property cases — without seeming pretentious.
So what did he do? He drew on his experience to tell what actually happened in some of those cases, but did so in the third person.
“Getting students connected to the topic is important … and this (narrative device) provides a palpable link without telling war stories – it avoids what could be an awkward personal connection between me and the topic,” says Kieff, on leave from the Washington University School of Law, having received one of the preeminent faculty fellowships in the United States for a year of research and writing at Stanford’s Hoover Institution.
Kieff’s willingness to experiment has served him well, taking him on a journey from private practice to clerking to academia. “Since applying to law school I have wanted to work at the interface among technology, the market and society,” says Kieff, who graduated from Penn Law in 1994. “And that is what I have done and hope to continue to do. The job title has mattered little to me. Lawyer, law clerk, law professor. Just different angles from which to try to crack a rather tough nut.”
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