Meet our Alumni

  • Celeste - MSL Alumna Celeste
    MSL '16
    BS, Biology
    Current Job Title: Regulatory Affairs Specialist
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  • Elizabeth - MSL Alumna Elizabeth
    MSL '17
    BS, Health & Human Performance
    Current Job Title: Intellectual Property and Patent Specialist
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  • John - MSL Alum John
    MSL '17
    BS, Community Health; Minor, Chemistry
    Current Job Title: Medical Student
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  • Shunran - MSL Alum Shunran
    MSL ’16
    BS, Mechanical Engineering
    Current Job Title: Design Engineer
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  • Amy Amy
    MSL ’15
    BSE, Bioengineering; Minor, Mathematics
    Current Job Title: Co-Founder and Chief Intellectual Property Officer
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  • Stephanie - MSL Alumna Stephanie
    MSL ’17
    BS, Biology; PhD, Biomedical Sciences
    Current Job Title: Scientific Consultant
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  • Angad Angad
    MSL ’18
    BS, Mechanical Engineering
    Current Job Title: Sales Operations Analyst
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  • Alexandra - MSL Alumna Alexandra
    MSL ’17
    BS, Biology; BA, French
    Current Job Title: Clinical Research Project Manager
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  • Laurelle Laurelle
    MSL ’18
    BS, Mechanical Engineering
    Current Job Title: Co-Founder and COO
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  • Suzanne - MSL Alumna Suzanne
    MSL ’16
    BAS, History; MA, Urban Planning and Policy
    Current Job Title: Manager, Paralegals and Legal Operations
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  • Erwin Erwin
    MSL ’17
    BA, Criminal Justice; MBA; MS, Information Systems
    Current Job Title: Director, Intellectual Property Strategy and Management 
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  • Eric - MSL Alum Eric
    MSL '17
    BS, Mechanical Engineering; MS, Mechanical Engineering
    Current Job Title: Algorithmic Trader
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Celeste

As an accomplished regulatory affairs specialist, Celeste Calhoun-Johnson (MSL '16) engaged frequently with legal departments, but she wanted to play a more active role in the important conversations with lawyers and other executives. In the MSL program, she learned fundamental aspects of the law that she now uses day-to-day in working with others to analyze the complex compliance issues facing her corporation.

Current Job Title:  Regulatory Affairs Specialist, Akzo Nobel Chemicals
Pre-MSL Degrees Earned:  BS, Biology

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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 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 gave me the ability to accomplish and effectuate my dreams and make them a reality.

What was your favorite thing about the MSL?
My favorite part of the MSL program was 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 was competitive and motivating, yet inclusive and supportive to each and every one of its members. The atmosphere and uniqueness of this program set it apart from other Master’s degree programs in the country.

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

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John

After graduating from college, John Walton (MSL '17) knew he was interested in both the law and healthcare, and he was looking for a program that would help him connect these subjects. In the MSL program, John took courses in patents, regulation, and entrepreneurship, and built a foundation for his future as a forward-thinking doctor advocating for innovation in the healthcare field.

Current Job Title:  Medical Student at Rush University
Pre-MSL Degrees Earned:  BS, Community Health; Minor, Chemistry

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Shunran

Already a successful engineer, Shunran Shi (MSL ’16) knew that he wanted to utilize his technical background, but also to take on a professional role that would allow him to interact in a more meaningful way with business and legal issues. In the MSL program, Shunran developed business and leadership skills that helped him land in a perfect position at Illinois Tool Works – a position that allows him to utilize both technical and non-technical skills on a daily basis.

Current Job Title:  Design Engineer, Illinois Tool Works
Pre-MSL Degrees Earned:  BS, Mechanical Engineering

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Amy

Amy Garber (MSL ’15) was already a successful patent agent when she joined the MSL program; she came to the MSL to learn more about how intellectual property assets impact business value. In the MSL program, she learned that and so much more - Amy met a like-minded team and went on to co-found Hazel Technologies, a company that develops shelf-life extension technology for fruits and vegetables to combat waste in the agricultural supply chain. The MSL taught Amy, “there is a place for me in the start-up world, solving real world problems that matter.”

Current Job Title:  Co-Founder and Chief Intellectual Property Officer, Hazel Technologies, Inc. Pre-MSL Degrees Earned:  BSE, Bioengineering; Minor, Mathematics

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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 offered aspects of intellectual property and regulation that helped me transition from academia to industry and policy. Along with the prestige of obtaining a degree from Northwestern, the MSL program offered relevant, hands-on coursework that prepared me for the next stage of my career. I now have options that I didn’t have with the PhD alone.  

What was your favorite thing about the MSL?
The support of faculty and staff in the MSL program was 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 had our best interests in mind. They hosted seminars with leading entrepreneurs from various backgrounds and offered assistance in career development opportunities.

What did you admire about your classmates?
We were a diverse group! Everyone had a different background and life experiences. This created a rich learning environment. Additionally, we were a family. Our goal was to help each other achieve our highest potential. I love those guys!

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Angad

Angad Verma (MSL '18) came to the MSL program after studying mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech; looking to leverage his engineering background, Angad sought interdisciplinary skills that would give him career flexibility and make him an asset in any industry. The MSL program allowed him to marry his STEM background with business and legal courses to launch a career as a Legal Associate for a fast-paced start-up.

Current Job Title:  Legal Associate, TraknProtect
Pre-MSL Degrees Earned:  BS, Mechanical Engineering

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

What did you admire about your classmates?
I admired how accomplished and diverse my classmates were. They all had an immense amount of unique talent and knowledge, and they were extremely collaborative in nature. I was inspired every day by my classmates, and I learned as much from my professors as I did from my classmates.

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Laurelle

After studying engineering at Northwestern University, Laurelle Banta (MSL '17) wanted to learn more about intellectual property and how to protect the ideas she was coming up with in the lab. She didn’t know she was also about to become an entrepreneur. As an MSL student, Laurelle took the NUvention Energy course, met a team of entrepreneurially-minded people, and founded NUMix Materials, a company focused on taking heavy metals out of water. As her company continues to grow, Laurelle says, “There’s not a day that goes by where the MSL program has not been useful.”

Current Job Title:  Co-Founder and COO, NUMix Materials
Pre-MSL Degrees Earned:  BS, Mechanical Engineering

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Suzanne

Suzanne

Current Job:  Manager, Paralegals and Legal Operations

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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Erwin

Erwin Cruz (MSL '17) already had an impressive thirty-year career to his credit, including two graduate degrees, when he entered the MSL program. But Erwin knew that the MSL program, with its focus on the intersection of business, technology, and the law, would give him the knowledge and skills that would allow him to remain relevant in a constantly evolving industry. Erwin brought his vast experience to the classroom, and actively interacted with his fellow students and with Northwestern Law’s outstanding faculty. His energy and investment paid off - Erwin was recently named a Top 300 IP Strategist by IAM, the world’s leading IP business media platform.

Current Job Title:  Director, Intellectual Property Strategy and Management, W.W. Grainger, Inc.
Pre-MSL Degrees Earned:  MBA; MS, Information Systems; BA, Criminal Justice

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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 was your favorite thing about the MSL?
My favorite thing about the MSL program was the practicality of the course material. The program was short (less than a year for full-time students), yet I learned skills that I could 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 did you admire about your classmates?
I admired the goodwill of my MSL classmates. I felt everyone in the program wanted 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 I met at the MSL program.

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