Rachael Geiger, a Tech Edge JD candidate at Santa Clara Law, was selected from a competitive pool of applicants to receive one of two $10,000 scholarships awarded by CHiPs (Chiefs in IP), a nonprofit professional organization that advances and connects women in technology, law and policy. Rachel was chosen for her academic excellence and commitment to advancing women in intellectual property.

Rachael, also a student in Santa Clara Law’s part-time JD program,  is starting a new position at the United States Patent and Trademark Office as a patent examiner in the Biomedical Engineering Art unit. Rachael began her career as an engineer in the medical device industry, but quickly discovered that she had a passion for patent prosecution. During the end of her master’s degree program, Rachael decided to go to law school and accepted a position as a technical advisor at a law firm. During her second year of law school, Geiger took and passed the patent bar.

During Rachael’s 1L year, she joined the board of the student chapter of ChIPs as a 1L Representative. Rachael has a passion for encouraging and equipping women and girls to enter STEM career fields and aims to advocate for equal treatment in the workplace.

Geiger and her husband welcomed their first child, a baby girl, in October 2021. Rachael’s passion for mentoring young women to enter STEM fields has only grown as she strives to promote an industry that her daughter would be welcomed into.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this scholarship and grateful to ChIPs for lessening the financial burden placed on my family,” Geiger said. “This scholarship will not only enable me to finish my law degree but will also allow me to be present in my daughter’s life, a privilege that not many mothers have.”

“Rachael exemplifies the saying often attributed to Ben Franklin, ‘If you want something done, ask a busy person.’ She was one of the first part-time students we admitted into Santa Clara Law’s Tech Edge JD program, a skills-based certificate program that prepares law students for careers in technology law. The Tech Edge JD requires students to obtain skill milestones, often in extracurriculars and work experience beyond the law school curriculum. She is successfully navigating those extra requirements on top of her coursework, a job as a patent agent, and new motherhood, all with kindness and grace,” Laura Lee Norris, Associate Clinical Professor, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director, Entrepreneurs’ Law Clinic and Tech Edge J.D. Program at Santa Clara University School of Law said.

Read more about the CHiPs scholarship recipients here.