University of Iowa
Return to top

Iftekhar (Ifti) Zaim ( Class of 2013)

Hometown: Chicago

Undergraduate school and major: University of Texas at Austin, B.A. Economics, minor Mathematics

What did you come to law school to become:

A commercial/business litigator, or an M&A attorney.

Your favorite Iowa Law memory:

Two stand out.  The first is from 3L year, practicing with the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court competition team in the weeks coming up to the competition.  We met as a team multiple times each week to refine our arguments, identify potential issues and case law

Current employer:

Irwin IP LLC

Location:

Chicago

Job title:

Associate

Description of what you do:

Most of my work relates to patent and trade secret litigation in Federal district court, post-grant proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and intellectual property-related counseling (e.g., infringement, non-infringement, and invalidity opinions; patent portfolio analyses; and intellectual property due diligence work).  I also participate in IP licensing, negotiation, and enforcement matters, as well IP-focused litigation before the International Trade Commission and the United States Court of International Trade.

Your interests outside of work:

Live music, reading, running, board/social game nights, kickboxing, and exploring the city's dizzying array of fine, coarse, and sketchy-but-fantastic dining establishments.

What do you wish your 1L/2L/3L self knew about the job search:

That specialization is key to obtaining the strongest career placement possible, and that a law student should build two resumes: one "specialized" (for firms in that field) and one "general" (for everywhere else).  Even first semester of 1L year is a great time to explore the various fields of legal practice, develop a reasonably educated idea of where you want to end up, and use some of your time in law school to start developing expertise in one or two niches within those fields.

What advice do you have for success in summer positions:

Hunt down the most challenging assignments, give those assignments everything you have, ask questions, and actively seek criticism. This is not simply because you want to show off your eagerness, intellectual capability, and work ethic; rather it is so you can push the quality of your work to its current ceiling, then use the criticism and suggestions you receive to push that ceiling higher.