Melissa Schwaller, PhD, JD
IP & Patent Law Panel
Job Title: Partner
Current Employer: Ramey & Schwaller, LLP
J.D., University of Houston Law Center, Houston, TX (2004)
Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX (2000)
M.A. in Biochemistry, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD (1994)
B.S. in Biochemistry, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD (1992)
When I began pursuing my doctorate, I planned to do research in industry. I attended a Career Day at Baylor College of Medicine and learned about careers in patent law. I helped establish an externship between Baylor College of Medicine and two local law firms to allow graduate students to gain experience in patent law before deciding to forego a postdoctoral position. After participating in the externship, I decided to pursue a career as a patent agent after obtaining my Ph.D. I took the patent bar exam while finishing my degree. I worked as a patent agent for a year and half and decided to go to law school at the University of Houston Law Center. I knew that I wanted to practice in the field of intellectual property and took as many intellectual property classes as I could. I have practiced as an intellectual property attorney, primarily at law firms, for the past 16 years. I specialize in patent and trademark prosecution, opinion work, and client counseling.
Most useful skill sets acquired from/for your field:
Ability to pick up information quickly
Attention to detail
What I love most about my job:
I love being exposed to new discoveries. I enjoy interacting with scientists and assisting them in obtaining protection for their inventions.