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Intellectual Property and UC Law a Great Fit for Amanda Penick, '09

Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz couldn’t have said it better. There’s no place like home. And for Amanda Penick, ’09, the true meaning of these words became evident when she moved back home to Cincinnati to begin her three year law school journey. After graduating with a degree in English from Hanover University in 2006 after spending time interning in Philadelphia with entertainment attorneys during her junior year, Penick discovered a love of intellectual property (IP) law and made a decision to come to UC Law. “I was on the student program board at Hanover working in artist management and really got into the copyright and media law side of things,” said Penick.

This year, Penick, a third year student, has her plate full. Then again, this has been the case in years past. Her responsibilities run the gamut to include serving as the co-chair of the Intellectual Property Law Society (IPLS) for the past two years and working as an Articles Editor for the University of Cincinnati College of Law Law Review. Seeing membership in the IPLS boom over the past year has energized Penick and her colleagues. “It’s a really sexy area of the law,” she explained, “especially trademarks.” When she’s not coordinating panels of private attorneys to speak to the IPLS, Penick edits student submissions to the Law Review. She feels that her experience on the Law Review has really opened a lot of doors for her. “Just having it on your resume elicits conversation during interviews,” she explained. “It gives you the opportunity to study an area of law that interests you but isn’t necessarily covered in the classroom,” she continued.  “I wrote about some legal issues related to Second Life, a virtual world community.  It definitely spawned some interesting conversations with interviewers.”

With a bachelor’s degree in English, Penick realizes that she is breaking stereotypes. Many people mistakenly believe that one must have a scientific background in order to practice in the area of IP. That’s definitely not true. Penick spent her first summer working at the E.W. Scripps Company in Cincinnati where she continues to work part-time and this past summer she worked for Baker Mackenzie in New York.  She has parlayed her work and experience into a position with Baker McKenzie upon graduation. She largely credits that opportunity to the small size of UC Law. A partner and new associate at the firm encouraged recruiters to look at Cincinnati students when selecting summer interns.

All the hard work Penick has to put into her academic work is well understood by her family with whom she has lived with over the past two and a half years.  Their support has been invaluable. Her younger sister, who attends the university, often treats Penick to lunch. Her dad even reads some of the assigned cases along with her. “He finds this type of thing very interesting,” she explained. “I secretly think he always wanted to go to law school,” she added. Her mother periodically surprises her with freshly ironed shirts when she knows Penick has a big day. Penick and her three siblings—one brother and two sisters—return the special treatment by treating their parents to a special dinner each month, created by the children in the family.  “It’s fun to do and they’re all so supportive of me,” said Penick.

Outside of law school, Penick enjoys going to coffee shops, reading and antique and costume jewelry collecting. She also enjoys spending time with her boyfriend of five years who is currently working on his MBA at Xavier University. “He totally understands the concept of having too much homework to hang out,” she said. “We just end up having study parties

Why UC Law

In addition to enjoying her involvement in extracurricular activities at UC Law, Penick appreciates the small size of the college. “Even though it’s a small community, there is a huge alumni network,” she said. “The size is ideal because the classes range in size. My Media and Advertising law classes have between 9 and 15 people’ conversely I’m able to take a larger lecture class if I’m inclined.”  And it’s that type of diversity at UC Law that fits Penick fine.