Sarah Fink ’12 Wins Prestigious Jan Jancin Award

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Sarah Fink ’12, an associate at Kenyon & Kenyon LLP, is the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Jan Jancin Award.

Presented by the American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation (AIPLEF), the Intellectual Property Law Section of the American Bar Association (ABA-IPL) and the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), the annual award recognizes an outstanding law student who has excelled in the study of intellectual property (IP) law. It is named for the late Jan Jancin, who was President of AIPLA and Chair of the ABA-IPL and who served with distinction in leadership roles in other national and international intellectual property law associations. Mr. Jancin was keenly interested in promoting the study and practice of IP law. As a persistent and perceptive observer of the legislative process as it related IP law, he also regularly reported to several IP law associations on those activities.

Students qualify to compete for the award by faculty nomination based on a range of criteria, including:

  • Best grades in IP courses overall
  •  Outstanding achievement in specified IP courses
  •  Best student IP paper
  • Membership and activity in student IP organizations

A former math teacher, Sarah entered St. John’s School of Law intent on pursuing a career in patent law. As a 2L, she studied patent law and antitrust law, gaining an interest in the anti-competitive affects of intellectual property. In her third year, she took classes in copyright law and in drafting IP licenses and, in her final semester, wrote a paper titled, Normally, “A Patent Shall be Presumed Valid.” But, What Happens When a Patent Shall Not be Presumed Valid?  The Antitrust and Public Interest Ramifications of Settlement During an Inter Partes Review at the PTO. The paper won first prize in the 2012 New York State Bar Association Antitrust Law Section Writing Competition.

"The Jan Jancin Award is the highest honor that the leading national bar associations bestow on an intellectual property law student each year,” said Professor Jeremy Sheff, who nominated Sarah for the award.  “It's a tremendous achievement for Sarah ― who was in competition with students from all over the country ― and for our growing intellectual property program at St. John's. We're all extremely proud of her."

Reflecting on her achievement, Sarah said: “The Jan Jancin Award is a great honor for any student seeking to pursue a career in intellectual property. I wanted to be a patent lawyer from the moment I entered St. John's and the faculty in the IP department supported me every step of the way.”