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Millie Black ( Class of 2013)

Hometown: San Francisco, CA/Sandwich, IL

Undergraduate school and major: History, Latin America & Iberia Studies

Extra-curricular or co-curricular activities in which you were involved during law school:

Journal of Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems, Organization of Women Law Students & Staff, Intellectual Property Law Society, and the Citizen Lawyer Program

Your favorite Iowa Law memory:

I secretly loved reading cases. A well-written opinion (and dissent) can have just as much drama as something you'd see in the theater. Both in the facts of the case as well as in the sparring between the judges.

Current employer:

United States Patent & Trademark Office


Alexandria, VA

Job title:

Trademark Attorney

Previous positions:

After graduating from law school I worked as a contract attorney until I found my current position. Prior to law school I worked as a Commercial Insurance Underwriter.

Description of what you do:

I review trademark applications submitted to the US Patent & Trademark Office for federal registration. I perform ex parte examination of applications for the registration of trademarks to ensure compliance with the Trademark Act of 1946 and related statutes. Issues that may arise during my examination commonly include: likelihood of confusion, ownership, use of the mark in commerce, descriptive or generic uses of the mark, acquired distinctiveness, functionality and/or ornamentation. I review applications which may pose complex factual and legal questions; analyze the record; evaluate facts; and determine questions of law. I then recommend approval of a mark for publication for opposition or draft the final position of the Agency.

Your interests outside of work:

 Cooking, baking, running half marathons in the California redwoods, gardening (although there's a lot of room for improvement), reading, and traveling whenever I get the chance.

What is your favorite movie: Pride and Prejudice (the BBC version, OK, technically it's a mini-series)

Where did you eat lunch yesterday:

My couch (I work from home sometimes and it's great)

What advice do you have for success in summer positions:

Volunteer to help out with whatever you can, even if it's outside of your comfort zone. My summer internship with the City of Chicago included frequent trips to court, taking depositions, etc. I was intimidated by all of the public speaking but it ended up being a lot of fun and I learned much more than I ever expected.