Alexis Juergens always knew she wanted to pursue a career in law.
Born in Japan, Juergens grew up in Virginia, California and Arizona before her family moved to Utah. Her father worked in government and law enforcement and Juergens felt connected to the law field from watching his experiences.
Juergens graduated from Skyline High School where she became a standout swimmer, receiving scholarship offers from a number of Division I schools across the country for her skills in the butterfly and sprint freestyle events. She attended Northern Arizona University, earning a degree in criminology and criminal Justice with a double minor in English and biology.
An internship at the South Jordan law firm Pearson, Butler and Carson in the summer of 2013 secured her drive to continue down a legal path. After graduating in 2015, Juergens set her sights on law school and was thrilled to arrive at S.J. Quinney.
This year, she’ll further her legal education by starting a new fellowship with the College of Law’s Center for Law and Biomedical Sciences (LABS), which is designed to advance the understanding how law and biomedicine intersect. Starting its second academic year since receiving permanent approval, LABS serves as a resource for improving the law as it relates to the rapidly evolving areas of health policy, the life sciences, biotechnology, bioethics and the medical and technological arts, in order to help overcome critical health care challenges. The center and its faculty and students are involved in applied, interdisciplinary research, innovative teaching and training and public service and programming.
Thanks to a generous donation from the law firm of Maschoff Brennan Laycock Gilmore Israelsen & Wright, Juergens will spend the academic year researching a number of intellectual property law issues in her role as the Maschoff Brennan Intellectual Property Fellow. The fellowship, funded by Maschoff Brennan, is the first named law firm fellowship at the College of Law. Juergens is the second recipient of the honor —last year student Michael Eixenberger was awarded the inaugural fellowship.
Rex Sears, an attorney at Maschoff Brennan, said his firm is pleased to sponsor the fellowship to advance student opportunities in intellectual property law.
“We see in the fellowship an opportunity both to facilitate LABS’ continued development as a top-tier research center and to connect with promising and interested students of intellectual property law. As a premier IP firm in Utah, we take seriously our role in helping to develop a future workforce of strong IP attorneys,” Sears said.
Juergens’ fellowship has already allowed her to work with Professor Leslie Francis on research related to health law, de-identified information, ethics and even some constitutional law as well as Professor Teneille Brown on research involving evidence issues and jury forms.
As the Maschoff Brennan fellow, she is also working on a project concerning judicial inclinations, exploring factors that influence decision-making.
“This opportunity is extremely helpful for my legal education because ultimately, this is the area of law I hope to work in,” said Juergens.
“I have focused my work on intellectual property litigation. This fellowship allows me to grow my knowledge not only within the IP realm, but also the health law field, which is a field of law I hope to keep involved in as well. I am able to create great relationships with professors who study within my field of interest and learn from some of the best.”
Juergens said she’s confident her fellowship will advance her goal to keep working within the IP litigation realm following her completion of law school in 2018.
“IP Law, and biolaw in general, is extremely intriguing to me and I hope to continue a career within this field,” she said.