Minnesota Law

Fall 2021
All Rise

Leading Questions: Katherine Chen, 3L

As student law council president, she is working to strengthen community and promote inclusiveness

Kate Chen, 3L
Photo: Tony Nelson

Why did you go to law school?

My background was in genetics. I loved it, but I realized that if I wanted to continue down that path, I’d have to get a master’s or doctorate degree, so it felt like I was being funneled into academia. Law was kind of a way out. I loved how it felt like a broadening process—I could explore new developments in science and technology without feeling like I was going down some academic rabbit hole.

Why did you select Minnesota Law?

I did my undergrad at the University of Minnesota, so U of M was a familiar place. I also talked to students at other schools, and it really felt like those schools were missing the collegiality and community I was looking for. (I’m trying to get this degree, not die in the process!)

What type of law would you like to practice?

I’m currently most interested in intellectual property law, specifically IP litigation.

What has your favorite experience been at the law school so far?

It’s hard to pick, but I’ve enjoyed every seminar class I’ve taken.

What are your goals as student council president?

COVID really did a number on students, both individually and as a community, so my biggest goal is to find ways to rebuild and re-create the community that many of us came to this school for. We’re also committed to working with our student organization leaders and the administration to support diverse students and initiatives.

What does being a student leader mean to you?

I think a key part of being a leader is to use whatever tools you have to advocate for your community’s needs—and if that means using your legal education to come up with creative solutions, all the better.

How did you spend your 2L summer?

I clerked at Carlson Caspers, an IP boutique firm in downtown Minneapolis. I also ate an ungodly amount of Chipotle, went road tripping, and harassed my roommate’s cat.

How does it feel to be back at Mondale Hall after a year of mostly remote learning?

Very surreal. This is the first time I’ve seen more than three people in the building at a time. A part of me is convinced I don’t know how to interact with real humans anymore.