Nimit Patel L’08

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Written By: Elias Gantos

Nimit Patel knew when he began his undergraduate education that it was not the final stop on his journey. Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, Nimit was introduced to the Northeast and all four of its seasons when he decided to attend Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. He completed his bachelor of science in mechanical engineering at Dartmouth before attending Syracuse University College of Law.
Nimit’s parents, one a lawyer and the other an engineer, helped him understand from an early age the potential of a legal education. While at Dartmouth, a product and commercialization course helped Nimit realize the bridge between engineering and the legal profession. The legal component that was added went beyond general engineering and Nimit gravitated towards this patent and commercialization work. From that point forward, law school was in his sights, with a focus on intellectual property (“IP”) law. 
During accepted students day in Syracuse, Nimit spoke with the founder and director of the Technology Commercialization Law Program at Syracuse, Professor Hagelin. Nimit felt an instant connection to the objectives of the program and to Professor Hagelin. The actual hands-on work that he would be offered was unlike any other programs at the time. 
Nimit was an editorial member of the Syracuse Law Review. He is fond of his time researching and crafting his note with the guidance of Professor Dolak. He enjoyed the opportunity to really dig into current law and provide a solution to an unanswered question. Further, Nimit credits professors Hagelin, Nocilly, and Dolak as standouts who opened his eyes to various aspects of the law. His time on law review reminded him of his time as an engineering student and working as a team. It provided foundational skills in paying strong attention to detail and making sure work product meets the required standards. The most personal lasting impact from law review, however, came through befriending a fellow member who later served as Nimit’s best man. Beyond law review, Nimit was a member of the Intellectual Property Law Society and the South Asian Law Student Association. 
During his summers, Nimit interned with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO “) and secured a position as a summer associate with WilmerHale. Both experiences offered intensive opportunities to learn and narrow down his focus in IP. At the USPTO for his 1L summer, Nimit jumped in without delay and worked essentially as a patent examiner. For his 2L summer, WilmerHale allowed him to take on substantive assignments from varying practice areas to hone his abilities. Following each assignment, he realized that his passions were with IP and commercialization which allowed him to then focus more time and energy into IP work. 
Following graduation, Nimit went to work for WilmerHale as a full-time associate. While he intended to work more with the patent prosecution group, he found himself shifting towards patent litigation. With time however, he found his true passion came from working beyond litigation. He took on a new challenge by teaching seminars on patent law basics and strategies at various entrepreneurship programs and through the Harvard Innovation Lab. From the combination of these experiences and his later projects at WilmerHale, Nimit had a growing interest to work on the client side. The promise of being able to work on an entire legal problem led him to search for an in-house position. That opportunity came with Sony and the job entailed all that he hoped for. For Nimit, every day is different. Whether working in a small group or across a broad product line, there is a new problem to attack head-on each day which is both exciting and makes it all worthwhile. 
As advice to current law students, Nimit believes all students should expand and take classes beyond their respective fields of interest. There are not many opportunities in a lawyer’s young career to really move outside one’s comfort zone. You never know what might happen just by simply taking classes that sound interesting. Additionally, Nimit strongly emphasized the real hands-on work available through clinics and the Innovation Law Center. Taking the opportunities available to do substantive work strengthens a still forming legal foundation. Above all, one must always leave time to complete necessary course work. However, Nimit notes that it is also crucial to find those opportunities to make memories and enjoy all that a legal education offers.