Andrew Zidel, J.D. '03
As an undergraduate pursuing a degree in electrical engineering, Andy Zidel had little interest in attending law school. “My mother told me I should go to law school, but I love technology and went to graduate school for a master’s degree in electrical engineering,” he says. After earning his degree, he landed a job at Sony working on wireless standards for cell phones. His interest in intellectual property (IP) law began when he was asked to serve as the liaison to the legal group to help develop patent applications for emerging technologies.
He later joined Lucent Technologies and took the patent bar exam to become a patent agent and practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. “While preparing for the exam, I realized it made sense to go to law school. I chose Seton Hall Law because of its strong IP program and, while there, found that they work closely with the evening students to make sure they are able to take the courses they need.” Zidel also has strong praise for the Seton Hall Law faculty. “Several of my professors were adjuncts who had been working in this industry for many years,” he says. “In addition to earning my law degree, I forged strong connections with people whom I now encounter as colleagues in my work. It was both a superb education and an excellent networking opportunity.”
Now an associate at the boutique IP law firm Lerner, David, Littenberg, Krumholz and Mentlik, LLP in Westfield, Zidel enjoys the diversity of his work. “There is no typical day,” he says, “I work with technology clients in a variety of industries, from wireless technology and computers to shoes and pogo sticks. The work is never dull.”
Along with his legal work, Zidel is a named inventor in multiple U.S. patents. “Being an inventor really helps me with my work,” he says. “As an attorney, I know how to best protect the client’s IP interests, and because I have been on both sides of the process, I also have a greater understanding of the client’s perspective and concerns.”