New paths open at Akron Law to Federal clerkships and externships


万博APP School of Law

法官瑞安. Holte meets in chambers with future United States Court of Federal Claims clerk 艾米丽丰富 21岁和现在的职员 尼克·布奇穆勒 “18岁, 马特Modderman ‘21.

Former University of Akron School of Law Associate Professor 瑞安. Holte was sworn in as a judge 你的nited States Court of Federal Claims in the summer of 2019. Although he stepped down from his positions at 万博APP as David L. Brennan Endowed Chair in Law and director of the Center for Intellectual Property Law and Technology (IP Law Center) for the role, he’s continued his affiliation with the law school. He teaches a remote course in IP law in the fall and an externship program in the spring as Jurist-In-Residence Professor of Law.

和大多数联邦法官一样, Holte has three one-year-term judicial law clerks in his chambers at a time and space for up to four externs per semester. He has selected many recent and future Akron Law graduates for these positions since joining the court and has grown Akron Law’s new 洗ington D.C. IP校外实习项目.

“Akron Law students have long taken advantage of externship opportunities, but almost entirely in the local area,教授说 马克•舒尔茨, Goodyear Chair and current director of the IP Law Center. “These 洗ington externships are a very special opportunity.”

与所有校外实习期, the goal is for students to get actual legal work experience where they can use the classroom knowledge they’ve gained in an applied setting. Externships are generally unpaid, 而是在阿克伦法学院, students earn class credit, and they can apply for financial aid and some professional development funding to offset out-of-town travel expenses.


The 华盛顿IP校外实习期 are available in the spring, summer and fall. Students work 3-5 days a week and take their other Akron Law courses online. In addition to the Court of Federal Claims, students may apply to IP law firms and IP-related government institutions such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the United States Copyright Office, which is part of the Library of Congress.

“Judge Holte is very supportive of IP externships, and not only in his own court. He also serves as the individual students’ faculty supervisor for all the School’s other IP externships.Akron Law 2L说道 奥斯汀基斯, who completed an externship in the judge’s court last summer.

“Many law students are reluctant to do externships, but I think they are such a unique opportunity,”基斯继续. “我学到了很多. My writing and my blue-booking (legal citations) improved immediately. Everything that you need to succeed in the practice of law can be learned through working for a judge. And spending time in a major legal market outside of Akron is great networking.”

Holte will be Keith’s faculty supervisor during his second externship this spring with Judge 菲利普花茎甘蓝 你的.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Judge Holte will also supervise Akron Law 2L 梅根·帕克 this spring during her externship with the 洗ington-based Copyright Alliance. He also served as the advisor for Akron Law student Doson阮, who did a spring 2021 externship with Court of Federal Claims Senior Judge 埃里克·G. Bruggink.


Shortly after Holte joined the Court of Federal Claims bench, he brought on 2018 Akron Law graduate 尼克Bagnolo as part of his first trio of law clerks. Bagnolo had joined the Akron-based IP law firm Emerson Thomson Bennett as an associate after graduating and passing the bar. Following his one-year clerkship with Judge Holte, he joined Jones Day as an associate in the IP litigation group.

One year after Bagnolo started, 郭Yunjun 6月, a 2017 Akron Law graduate, succeeded him as a clerk in the judge’s chambers. She had been an associate with Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox, a leading national IP specialty law firm, for three years. Upon completing her clerkship this past August, she joined the global pharmaceutical company AbbVie as in-house counsel in Boston.

“Judicial clerkships in general, but especially at the federal trial and appellate level, are very prestigious for recent law school graduates,” 艾丽莎本笃奥布莱恩, Akron Law assistant dean for career services and strategic initiatives. “Top law firms are usually very supportive of junior attorneys doing this type of work for a year or two.”

“Clerkships are a phenomenal way to understand the practice of law looking down from the judiciary’s perspective, before you work your way up in law practice,”她补充说. “They also offer exceptional experience in legal writing and research, with the added benefit of supervision, 指导和网络.”

Two other Akron Law graduates are currently serving 2021-22 clerkships that began this August. 尼克·布奇穆勒 ’18 practiced for three years in Houston at Bracewell LLP, a large law firm with a nationally renowned patent law practice. He came to Akron Law with a chemical engineering degree from the University of Utah to pursue intellectual property studies after meeting the law school’s then-dean on a recruiting trip to Utah.

马特Modderman ’21, 土生土长的俄亥俄州东北部人, earned his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Akron. For three of those years, he worked for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in a co-op program that included rotations at plants in Mexico and North Carolina as well as Akron.

万博APP School of Law

The United States Court of Federal Claims in 洗ington D.C.

“Akron’s School of Engineering set me up for what would have been an excellent career in tire engineering,”Modderman说. “It also positioned me in close proximity to one of the country’s best intellectual property law programs. I met Judge Holte – a fellow mechanical engineer – my senior year. He informed me of the tremendous opportunity a career in law had for engineers. 我相信. 我进入了阿克伦法学院.”

Modderman flourished in the IP law program under Holte’s mentorship. He was an IP Law Center Fellow, worked as a patent agent for Akron/Cleveland IP specialty firms, and served as the managing editor of the IP edition of the Akron Law Review. Following a 2020 summer associate position at Jones Day, he received an offer to return to the firm as an associate after graduation. He deferred this offer to clerk for Judge Holte on the Court of Federal Claims for one year starting in August 2021.


As noted, judicial clerkships provide junior attorneys with a unique perspective. But few courts can compare with the national perspective at the Court of Federal Claims.

“Some of the interesting matters on our civil-only docket include patent infringement, 第五修正案收入, 政府合同, 退税, Indian tribes and nations and vaccine injury,”Modderman说. “These complex cases provide excellent civil litigation training and the opportunity to observe talented large firm and Department of Justice attorneys argue in court. I hope to be an IP litigator following the clerkship, so this experience has been invaluable.”

Because the court is one of the few that has national jurisdiction, it often does site visits and holds hearings around the country where the parties to its cases are located.

万博APP School of Law

马特Modderman and Judge Holte stand on the Pacific shore near the site of a visit for a case.

Modderman and Holte recently returned from a site visit to the Quileute Nation Reservation on the Pacific Coast in La Push, 洗.西雅图附近. The case involved a contract dispute between a private contractor and the Army Corps of Engineers concerning Coast Guard marina dredging on Tribal land. The day after the visit, Judge Holte heard oral arguments at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of 洗ington (in downtown Seattle) on the parties’ motions for summary judgment.

“Any site visit or travel hearing is a wonderful experience and very unique to a Court of Federal Claims clerkship,”Modderman说. “Assisting a federal judge with oral argument preparation is a unique and extremely educational experience every law student and new lawyer should seek out. Just sitting in on diverse hearings and arguments is also a great benefit for any new legal career—you observe so many procedural nuances and practice styles for arguing before a judge that significantly add to a new litigator’s future courtroom toolkit.” 

Holte already has 2021 Akron Law graduate 艾米丽丰富 lined up for a 2022-23 clerkship. Like Modderman, she was an IP Fellow and on the Akron Law Review. 自去年9月以来, she has been a patent litigation associate at the 洗ington DC office of the international law firm Perkins Coie LLP.

“Our relationship with Judge Holte adds an exciting dimension to our nationally ranked IP program,阿克伦·劳院长说 Christopher J. (C.J.彼得斯). “He has opened the door to unique opportunities for our students and graduates in 洗ington, D.C. I am really looking forward to his return to Akron for oral arguments in February 2022. Judge Holte’s visit will mark the third time a court has heard cases at Akron Law during our Centennial year, following the visits of the Army Court of Criminal Appeals in September and the Ohio Supreme Court in October.”

The judge will bring the Court of Federals Claims to Akron Law on Feb. 3、2022年10点.m. in the Brennan Courtroom for oral arguments in a patent licensing contract dispute between a local company and NASA.

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