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SKILL SHARPENER

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.

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

plus two JD students from Emory - one who

in the second program year can work with

program. The PhD student in the group is

real-life inventions - and their related busi-

developing modeling software for semicon-

The PhD science students are selected for

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

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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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...

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