Patti Schmidt '95

Partner, Bell, Boyd and Lloyd LLP
Chicago, Illinois

Patti Schmidt came to the School of Law with a background in electrical engineering. After college, she worked as an application engineer and, later, as a sales manager for a manufacturer of circuit protection devices. Because of her initial career path, she was planning to earn an MBA, until a chance meeting with a patent attorney at a dinner party led her to consider law school. At the time, law school was the furthest thing from her mind, she said. After that dinner, however, she started to become more aware of the opportunities for patent attorneys, then found herself taking the LSAT and applying to law school.

Schmidt says that she really enjoyed her UDSL experience. After working full time for five years, she enjoyed being back in the classroom.

Today, Schmidt is a partner at Bell, Boyd and Lloyd LLP in Chicago, a general practice firm of about 300 attorneys. The firm's Intellectual Property Group has approximately 50 attorneys, 35 of whom are patent attorneys. Her practice is focused in intellectual property litigation and patent portfolio counseling. Schmidt says the work has been very satisfying both professionally and personally, and adds that her prior work experience helps her to understand her clients' business issues and to provide legal advice that is consistent with their business goals and objectives.