Leveraging dual expertise in law and science for social impact

Elon Law student Chris Genheimer L'15Summer 2014 experience:

Summer Associate at Sugrue Mion intellectual property law firm, Washington D.C.


Roanoke, Va.

Before law school…

I attended college at Virginia Tech and worked in the biotech industry performing diagnostic research, then tissue engineering in the regenerative medicine field.

Combining science and law…

I really wanted to leverage my biology background and experience. So when I met a few patent attorneys in the area, that really keyed me into law school. Patent law, right now, is very strong and thriving.

How I’ll contribute…

One of the driving forces behind science was being a part of research that impacted millions of people by improving the quality of their healthcare or their quality of life. The law profession is very similar. As a whole, we are helping millions of people in an individual way. So by combining the two degrees, I can really give back to the scientific industry.

Why I came to Elon…

Elon has a close-knit, highly interactive environment where students are engaged and encouraged to engage with the faculty and staff. The school brings the outside world in, then gives students exposure to local attorneys so you can develop your career path.

About Greensboro…

I really like the Triad area; it’s highly diverse—you’re very close to the beach, very close to the mountains. It has a lot to offer as far as growth and longevity, but at the same time it has a small town, small city feel.

Career Goals…

I’d like to start working for a firm in patent law, primarily on the prosecution side working with the inventor to help craft and develop the invention and monitor over the life of the patent. At some point, I’d like to transition into investing in biotech companies so other inventors can bring their ideas to fruition and ultimately bring products to the market to benefit the community.

On Elon faculty and leadership…

The faculty does a great job helping students network. They’re always available and willing to reach out and help people in any way. The leadership program does a great job of establishing a strong fundamental base in developing leaders that will ultimately be lawyers.

Why come to Elon…

The great thing about Elon is since it is a young school, there’s so much opportunity for students to provide feedback and help shape the school.

Honors and student service:

  • Phi Sigma Biological Honor Society
  • Gamma Beta Phi Society
  • Eagle Scout
  • Leadership Fellow
  • Top Cited article in the journal Anaerobe, 2008-2010
  • McMichael Law & Leadership Fellow Scholarship
  • Online Editor - Elon Law Review
  • Treasurer - Tax Law Interest Group
  • Volunteer - AARP Tax Aide program