Alumni of the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law have a variety of backgrounds, each of which helps them when they begin their post-law school careers.
Seaton Curran ’08 currently works at Howard & Howard, a business law firm where his focus is on intellectual property and patent law. However, before going to law school, Curran was a professional engineer.
He gained his degree in engineering from Loyola Marymount in 1996 and began his career as an engineer before going back to school part-time to earn a master’s in business administration from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business in 2000.
Curran moved to Las Vegas in 2003 and worked for Black & Veatch engineering firm. He worked as an engineer throughout his time going to school at Boyd.
“It’s not uncommon for me to be dealing with Ph.D. level scientists and engineers at my job,” Curran said. “It’s been a nice culmination of all my previous experience.”
Curran’s job requires him to deal with foreign clients and foreign patent attorneys on many occasions. He said that it’s not unusual for him to deal with foreign jurisdictions, whether their laws are similar to the United States or not.
“The interesting thing about intellectual property is that since companies are now going global, it’s not surprising that local companies are looking to manufacture in other countries,” he said. “When looking at patent protections, we have to deal with other countries’ laws and how a client’s product could expand into other countries. It’s a little short-sighted to only be dealing with U.S. laws.”
Curran’s time as an engineer also provides him the opportunity to give back to UNLV. He has offered his services to students at the School of Engineering, providing guidance and assistance regarding patent protection.
He said that patent protection is important for the students to have for multiple reasons.
“If they obtain patent protection, it not only helps them to protect their project, but if investors ask about it they have it to weigh risk,” Curran said. “So it gives them a leg up on other people.”
Curran also serves as a member of the Nevada Local Government Employee-Management Relations Board. The board consists of members appointed to 4-year terms, and it deals with collective bargaining and labor relations between local government employers, employees, unions and associations.
“I was made aware of the position three years ago. I filled out the application, and Jim Gibbons, who was governor at the time, made the appointment,” he said
Curran said that the position takes up about 200-220 hours of his time per year. Though his work focus is patents, Curran said he is still able to contribute a great deal.