MSL Class Profile

MSL students bring a variety of educational and professional backgrounds to the program; their diversity and perspectives enhance the learning experience for everyone. Students come with bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in a wide variety (over 40 different STEM majors represented!) of science, engineering, and technology fields.  Approximately 70% of MSL students have prior work experience in STEM fields.

With an average age of about 30, but ranging from early to mid-20s and on up into their 40s (and even 50s), MSL students are culturally diverse, including students from all over the U.S. and the world.

MSL students share their STEM backgrounds in common, as well as a desire to expand their horizons through interdisciplinary study. Meet some of our interesting students and alumni below.

Alumni

  • John - MSL Student John
    MSL '17
    BS, Community Health
  • Elizabeth - MSL Student Elizabeth
    MSL '17
    BS, Health & Human Performance
  • Kshiteesh - MSL Student Kshiteesh
    MSL '17
    BTech, Information Technology
  • Sun - MSL Student Sun
    MSL '17
    BS, Biological and Food Engineering;
    MS, Anatomy and Cell Biology
  • Dan - MSL Student Dan
    MSL '17
    BS, Chemistry
  • Eric - MSL Student Eric
    MSL '17
    BS, Mechanical Engineering;
    MS, Mechanical Engineering
  • Stephanie - MSL Student Stephanie
    MSL '17
    BS, Biology;
    PhD, Biomedical Sciences
  • Alexandra - MSL Student Alexandra
    MSL '17
    BS, Biology;
    BA, French
  • Celeste - MSL Student Celeste
    MSL '16
    Compliance and Regulations Manager
  • Jessica - MSL Student Jessica
    MSL '16
    Solution Engineer
  • Scott - MSL Student Scott
    MSL '16
    Design Engineer
  • Suzanne - MSL Student Suzanne
    MSL '16
    Sr. Manager, Commercial Contracts

John

John

Hometown:  Batavia, IL

Degrees Earned:  BS, Community Health (minor in Chemistry)

Why did you decide to do Northwestern Law’s MSL program?
My passion is health care. Before attending medical school, I wanted to take a year to evaluate if medical school was for me. The MSL program was a perfect program for me to continue to stay up on my curricular agenda while learning valuable aspects of how law applies to science and technology, specifically health care and regulation.

What is your favorite thing about the MSL?
My favorite thing about the MSL program is the flexibility in classes and the availability of the faculty. I have benefited from all the classes I have taken, and have learned so much.

What do you admire about your classmates?
Of course, I admire many things about my classmates; but if I had to pick one thing in particular, it would be the diversity of the class. I have classmates from all around the United States and all around the world. I have learned a lot about different cultures and have definitely improved my cultural awareness.

What is a fun fact about you?
I have a children's book written about me. I also recently went on Family Feud and was on for five episodes.

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Elizabeth

Elizabeth

Hometown:  Fort Worth, TX

Degrees Earned:  BS, Health & Human Performance (focus on Exercise Science)

Why did you decide to do Northwestern Law’s MSL program?
I decided to pursue the MSL degree because I knew that it would outfit me with the knowledge, information, material and skills that would set me apart and spearhead me into the field of intellectual property and patent design. I very quickly recognized the incredible opportunities this program could offer me within this field of study. I have learned that in a world that is becoming progressively multifaceted and complex, where success is driven not only by what you know but by what you can do with what you know, it is imperative to be equipped and prepared with the knowledge and skills to solve tough problems, collect and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information. Through the rigorous yet extremely rewarding MSL curriculum and with the help and guidance of the world-class faculty and staff here at Northwestern Law, I can say with 100% confidence and certainty that the MSL program has given me the ability to accomplish and effectuate my dreams and make them a reality.

What is your favorite thing about the MSL?
My favorite part of the MSL program would have to be the family dynamic and camaraderie between the students as well as the faculty and staff. Everyone wants you to succeed and excel within this program. This high caliber graduate degree program is competitive and motivating yet inclusive and supportive to each and every one of its members. I feel as though the atmosphere and uniqueness of this program set it apart from other Master’s degree programs in the country.

What do you admire about your classmates?
The diversity! My classmates are a true representation of the multiplicity that is our world. We have international and domestic students, an assortment of ethnicities and languages, different cultural backgrounds, students who identify with groups such as LGBTQ, students with various religious affiliations, different age groups within the student body, and finally different and diverse traditions and core beliefs. Northwestern Law encompasses every aspect of an individual’s internal and external life and values. I have loved and appreciated getting to know the different cultures and perspectives of my fellow classmates. Not only am I learning in the classroom, I am learning on a deeply personal level about how to work and communicate with different styles and groups of people. I feel as though the diversity enhances my creativity and problem- solving abilities as well as my overall understanding of the material within the MSL program.  

What is a fun fact about you?
I was a NCAA D1 student athlete during my undergraduate college career.

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Kshiteesh

Kshiteesh - MSL student

Hometown:  Lucknow, India

Degrees Earned:  BTech, Information Technology

Why did you decide to do Northwestern Law’s MSL program?
The curriculum of MSL program was very appealing to me. In today’s competitive world a professional should be aware of all the aspects of law and business that come up in the real world. This program helps to bridge the gap between academic study and the real world, and it helps us become better decision-makers.

What is your favorite thing about the MSL?
The MSL team. They are so dedicated to the program, but they also look after every individual student’s needs. They are always here to help and guide. They are always dedicated to answer any queries and solve them.

What do you admire about your classmates?
My classmates have such diverse backgrounds. They have so much experience and knowledge from diverse fields and their insights contribute to increasing everyone’s knowledge in the classroom.

What is a fun fact about you?
I love cooking.

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Sun

Sun - MSL student

Hometown:  Chicago, IL

Degrees Earned:  BS, Biological and Food Engineering; MS, Anatomy and Cell Biology

Why did you decide to do Northwestern Law’s MSL program?
I became interested in intellectual property law as a useful way to take advantage of my science background. To make a smoother career transition from pure science research to IP law, I decided to enter the MSL program. I thought this was the best possible education for providing me the bridge between science and IP law.

What is your favorite thing about the MSL?
The MSL community has great resources: fantastic faculty who have impressive practical experience and knowledge; great care from the MSL and law school program administration (job search, networking, workshops, collaboration with other programs/firms/industries, etc.)

What do you admire about your classmates?
Diverse backgrounds, intellectual curiosity, and cooperative attitudes.

What is a fun fact about you?
I started learning how to play the piano even before learning my primary language. Sometimes, I better express how I feel and think through musical language! BUT, I can't guarantee whether it sounds nice or not!!

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Dan

Dan - MSL Student

Hometown:  Alsip, IL

Degrees Earned:  BS, Chemistry

Why did you decide to do Northwestern Law’s MSL program?
I was looking for a degree to complement my current chemistry degree. Ultimately, I would like to work with businesses in the chemical industry on issues regarding their patent portfolios and strategic business practices. The MSL degree offered me the background to accomplish this and also a lot more. After the program, I plan to pursue a PhD in Chemistry.

What is your favorite thing about the MSL?
Learning about law not only in the legal context, but also how law and business interact and how both of these disciplines interact with science. In addition, the students in the MSL are very intellectual and this spurs outstanding discussions in class.

What do you admire about your classmates?
The broad range and experiences in STEM fields that they all have.

What is a fun fact about you?
I brew mead. I am currently experimenting with a purple mead.

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Eric

Eric - MSL Student

Hometown:  Long Beach, CA

Degrees Earned:  BS, Mechanical Engineering; MS, Mechanical Engineering

Why did you decide to do Northwestern Law’s MSL program?
I chose Northwestern Law's MSL program because I wanted to jumpstart my path toward becoming a talented entrepreneur. Before applying to the program, I had already built personal momentum, starting a small business on my own and taking a class to write my first business plan (yes, in that order). I realized how lost I was, and I was eager for mentorship. When I saw the MSL program offered legal and business training for people with backgrounds like mine, I knew I had to try for it. I was so excited I wrote "MSL" on my refrigerator before even applying.

What is your favorite thing about the MSL?
My favorite thing about the MSL program is how practical the course material is. The program is short, less than a year for full-time students, yet I am learning skills I can apply right away. For example, in one class, I learned about mapping out stakeholders when brainstorming for a business. When I spoke with one of my colleagues about a business, I drew out all the groups that would be involved at different points in a transaction, and this led to a focused discussion.

What do you admire about your classmates?
I admire the goodwill of my MSL classmates. I feel everyone in the program wants me to succeed. This is a rare thing; it is hard to find so many people that would rather collaborate than compete. I know I can build something great with many of the students here.

What is a fun fact about you?
A fun fact about me is that I have won best costume on Halloween dressing up as E.T.

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Stephanie

Stephanie - MSL Student

Hometown:  Nashville, TN

Degrees Earned:  BS, Biology; PhD, Biomedical Sciences

Why did you decide to do Northwestern Law’s MSL program?
As I was finishing up my PhD, I knew I wanted a career beyond the laboratory that would include exposure to emerging developments in science, allow for interactions with budding scientists and experts in all fields of biomedicine, and put me in a translational role that would allow me to utilize my full skill set.  I concluded that law would be a great avenue to explore:  my understanding of cancer biology could bring a different perspective to the ever-changing healthcare and patent law landscapes. The MSL degree has aspects of intellectual property and regulation that will help me transition from academia to industry and policy.  Along with the prestige of obtaining a degree from Northwestern, the MSL program offers relevant, hands-on coursework that has prepared me for the next stage of my career, and I now have options that I didn’t have with the PhD alone.  

What is your favorite thing about the MSL?
The support of faculty and staff in the MSL program is phenomenal.  The faculty have offered help in grasping concepts outside of the classroom as well as assistance in building my network.  Coordinators of the program have our best interests in mind. They host seminars with leading entrepreneurs from various backgrounds, offer assistance in career development opportunities, and feed us....often.

What do you admire about your classmates?
We are a diverse group! Everyone has a different background or life experience. This creates a rich learning environment. Additionally, we all are family. Our goal is to help each other achieve our highest potential. I love those guys!

What is a fun fact about you?
In my spare time, I enjoy sewing and exploring the rich culinary environment of Chicago.

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Alexandra

Alexandra - MSL Student

Hometown:  Arlington Heights, IL

Degrees Earned:  BS, Biology; BA, French

Why did you decide to do Northwestern Law’s MSL program?
I chose to do to the Northwestern Law MSL program because the program truly aligned with all of my interests. I love science (Biology/Genetics particularly), and have always been interested in law and business. Innovation and efficiency are very important to me, and I knew the MSL program would give me the tools to innovate and improve efficiency within the life sciences and healthcare fields. The courses offered particularly appealed to me due to the breadth and real-world focus of the material.

What is your favorite thing about the MSL?
My favorite thing about the MSL program is that I am constantly learning new things that I can immediately put into practice. The program is designed to support students with whatever endeavors they wish to pursue, and there are countless resources to spur innovation leading to tangible results. With every new concept I learn, my perspective is broadened and enriched, making me a more well-rounded individual in law, business, science and technology.

What do you admire about your classmates?
I admire how accomplished and diverse my classmates are. They all have an immense amount of unique talent and knowledge, and they are extremely collaborative in nature. I am inspired every day by my classmates and I learn as much from my professors as I do from my classmates.

What is a fun fact about you?
I love to play sports and have done everything from soccer, to biking to karate to ultimate frisbee. In college, I took up marathon running and am a 2017 and 2018 Boston Marathon Qualifier.

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Celeste

Celeste - MSL program alumna

Current Job:  Compliance and Regulations Manager

Why did you decide to do Northwestern Law’s MSL program?
I was looking for a foundational understanding of the law to enable efficient cross-functional interaction while managing business risk within my organization.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about the MSL program?
This program will not only further pique your interest in law, but it will also broaden your horizons and open your eyes to the many facets of law and the many ways law is weaved through science, technology and entrepreneurship.

What was the most valuable aspect of the MSL and why?
The amazing people you meet and the variety of courses offered.

How did the MSL program contribute to your leadership and/or teamwork skills?
The Negotiations and Dispute Resolution courses enabled me to address situations in a way that focuses on the "real" concerns of stakeholders to achieve sustainable solutions.

How have you used the MSL in your career or professional life?
I have used the MSL in my career to become a more effective communicator of sensitive information via email and in potentially volatile in-person situations.

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Jessica

Jessica - MSL program alumna

Current Job:  Solution Engineer, Deloitte Public Sector Technology Consulting

Why did you decide to do Northwestern Law’s MSL program?
I believed that an education in law, combined with my business and engineering knowledge [gained through an MS in Civil Engineering and an MBA] would provide me with an excellent toolset to begin my career. I knew that I wanted to work in technology consulting, and that I would confront complicated legal and regulatory structures when making organizational decisions. I thought that familiarity with the legal process, contracts, patent design, mergers and acquisitions, royalty structuring and overall business law would help me be a more effective consultant and a strong liaison to my clients’ legal departments.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about the MSL program?
With an MBA and a master’s in civil engineering, it was difficult for me at first to persuade myself to continue on with my education, but looking back I will never regret this incredible experience. I was able learn from some of the world’s brightest professors and work with talented professionals in so many different STEM professions from all over the world. Along the way, I developed valuable skill sets and lifelong friendships. I would highly recommend the program.

What was the most valuable aspect of the MSL and why?
The MSL gave me a unique and multi-faceted education. This program teaches you to approach problems comprehensively from the start. Having legal knowledge and being able to leverage it effectively allows you to make valuable business decisions in STEM settings.

How did the MSL program contribute to your leadership and/or teamwork skills?
I learned to think analytically, write clearly, and simplify complex issues; I also learned skills of negotiations, public speaking, and persuasion. All of these are skills I believe great leaders should have. In terms of teamwork, we did many group projects and extracurricular activities and we developed an MSL culture of teamwork and even family. Being part of the inaugural class helped us establish close bonds with each other and made us recognize the value of working well together in team situations.

How have you used the MSL in your career or professional life?
In my current position, I use the skill sets I developed in the MSL on a regular basis, including public speaking, legal research, synthesizing facts, and developing business strategies. For example, right now I am working on implementing a financial management software system; I recently performed some legal research and analysis to make sure the financial reports we were developing were compliant with my client’s legal financial reporting requirements.

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Scott

Scott

Current Job:  Design Engineer

Why did you decide to do Northwestern Law’s MSL program?
Legal knowledge is extremely important in the professional world. In STEM settings, we have to follow all sorts of legal principles on a daily basis such as when we are making deals with customers or launching new products into the market, but most technical professionals do not have a legal background. I wanted to learn the rules of the game and thought that the MSL could teach me the necessary legal skills that would help me succeed in engineering and business.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about the MSL program?
The knowledge I learned from the MSL program is critical in my day-to-day work; I am constantly evaluating risks and problems. The MSL taught me to spot and evaluate these issues at an early stage and that allows me to mitigate and avoid many risks. Without this training, I wouldn’t recognize some of these issues until too late in the process.

What was the most valuable aspect of the MSL and why?
With my MSL training, I feel more confident and comfortable when I make business decisions, and these decisions are better-informed. Also, I feel a lot more comfortable when I have to read long documents.

How did the MSL program contribute to your leadership and/or teamwork skills?
The MSL allowed me to become an interdisciplinary professional and that means I am bringing more perspective to my team. I can provide unique insights or suggest different solutions. I view problems from different aspects, which really makes me stand out.

How have you used the MSL in your career or professional life?
I bring the MSL knowledge with me to my job. I use material from many MSL classes – such as IP Fundamentals, IP Strategy, and IP Valuation when I am conducting patent research. I can integrate engineering principles and legal analysis at the same time. Not many engineers have this skill set. I also use Contract Law and Negotiation Skills when I meet customers and suppliers.

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Suzanne

Suzanne

Current Job:  Sr. Manager, Commercial Contracts

Why did you decide to do Northwestern Law’s MSL program?
I was becoming more involved in all aspects of our in-house legal team and wanted to expand my skill set.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about the MSL program?
Do it! You will be at the forefront of a new career path that has not yet been completely defined. Technology is ubiquitous in our lives, much like the law, and the two are influencing each other in ways that we need to comprehend. The more you know about both, the better off you are.

What was the most valuable aspect of the MSL and why?
The MSL community of students, faculty and administration was the best part of the program. With such a dynamic group of students and a supportive network, the classes were much more beneficial than they would have been otherwise.

How did the MSL program contribute to your leadership and/or teamwork skills?
Through the MSL program, I interacted with professionals from a variety of industries that I would not otherwise have had the opportunity to do. This experience helped me learn to work with unique minds and expand my way of thinking.

How have you used the MSL in your career or professional life?
I use something from some class every day. There are still books, cases and articles that I refer to, and I now have some very practical skills in research, writing and basic legal functions that I use when I am working with the attorneys on my team, which I do regularly.

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