Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law - Beus Center for Law and Society Snell & Wilmer Plaza

Lisa Foundation Patent Law Clinic

The Lisa Foundation Patent Law Clinic is the brainchild of prominent Chicago patent attorney Steven G. Lisa, a 1984 ASU Law alumnus. To date, through Lisa's foundation, the clinic has received $200,000 in donated funding.

Students receive hands-on experience in real-world patent and trademark prosecution, and learn skills needed to recognize and obtain valuable and enforceable patents and trademarks for clients that may later be successfully licensed or litigated. Regardless of whether students plan to practice transactional patent and trademark law or intellectual property litigation, the clinic gives students insight into both areas of practice so that they may understand the impact that actions taken during the patent and trademark procurement processes have during a subsequent litigation.

The clinic is a member of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO)’s Law School Clinic Certification Program in which students receive limited recognition practice numbers. Those who have a science or engineering background represent both patent and trademark clients whereas those without a technical background practice only on the trademark side of the clinic. The limited recognition practice numbers permit students to represent clients directly before the USPTO including signing and filing patent and trademark applications, office actions, maintenance and renewal documents, conducting examiner interviews and other official correspondence on behalf of clients.

What students do:

Students in the Lisa Foundation Patent Law Clinic receive hands-on experience in real-world patent and trademark prosecution, including client interviewing and counseling, patentability and registrability searching and opinions, and drafting and filing patent and trademark applications and office action responses.

Through their clinical experience, students work with independent inventors and start-up companies to assess clients’ IP protection needs and draft and prosecute patent and trademark applications in the USPTO under the supervision of a licensed patent and trademark attorney.

Three JD student talking together during the ASU Law Clinic Open House.

Course information

The Patent Clinic is a one-semester course but may be taken for a second semester with instructor approval.

  • Credits: three graded credits for the first semester; 1-3 pass/fail credits for students returning for a second semester
  • Recommended Pre- or Co-Requisite(s): Patent Law, Comprehensive Patent Practice, Patent Drafting, Patent Preparation, Trademark Law and Prosecuting Trademark Applications.
  • You must have a undergrad degree in specific science fields or significant science class hours. If you so not have the science class hours you will be limited to Trademark only. Please see USPTO degree requirements for certification for Patents and Options sheet attached to the application in Atlas before applying.

Time commitment

Students are expected to spend a minimum of 135 total hours in the Clinic during the one semester.

  • Fall or Spring Semester – 10 hours per week

Student Applications Dates for Clinic:

Students may apply via Atlas during the application period listed below.

Spring 2024:
Applications: September 22 - October 22, 2023
Offers extended to students: October 27, 2023
Student acceptances due: October 31, 2023

Fall 2024: Application period: March 11-29, 2024 Offers extended to students: April 5, 2024 Student accept/decline due: April 11, 2024


**IMPORTANT!* - Externships and Clinics – Students who have applied for an externship or clinic and been accepted may decline upon offer without consequence. However, once a student has accepted an externship or clinic, any student who drops the externship or clinic without prior approval by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs will be subject to the 12-month ban.


Application for prospective clients

Our People

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Andy Schwaab 
Director, Lisa Foundation Patent Law
Clinic, Teaching Associate Professor