Emily Sosolik

2020 | Columbus, OH

Arizona State University | History & Political Science

“A lot of the faculty at MSU Law took me under their wings. They helped me achieve what I hoped to achieve but didn’t know how to go about achieving it.”

From her Ohio roots to Texas, Arizona, and back to the Midwest, Emily Sosolik, ’20, has lived all over the country. She never imagined her life would lead her in so many directions, particularly when it led her to law school.

Sosolik started out studying mechanical engineering at Arizona State University and discovered patent law amid lab work and calculus equations. As the first of her family and friends to pursue legal education, she started at MSU College of Law with big aspirations. But she needed a little help to find her rhythm.

“I knew what I wanted to do, but I wasn’t quite sure how to get there. I was completely flying blind,” she explained. “A lot of the faculty at MSU Law took me under their wings. They helped me achieve what I hoped to achieve but didn’t know how to go about achieving it.”

In her first years, with a clear goal of intellectual property (IP) and patent work beyond the law school stage, Sosolik dove headfirst into related courses and extra curriculars, including the First Amendment and Intellectual Property Clinics and the Trademark Moot Court team. By the time she reached her third and final year, she had taken advantage of nearly all the IP opportunities at the Law College.

These experiences helped Sosolik to see the impact of the law and an attorney’s presence on real-life circumstances. When a local, prominent public magnet school refused to open their board meetings to parents and community members, Sosolik (alongside Professor Nancy Costello) stepped in.

“The parents had tried for four years to open up the meetings and no one listened, until Professor Costello and I showed up in our suits with our briefcases,” she said. “That was the first time I saw that the law can have real world implications and how you have the power to enact positive change.”

In addition to her IP ventures, Sosolik joined Law Review as a 2L and almost immediately found a place where she – as a self-proclaimed “grammar nerd” – could flourish as an editor and form close relationships with her fellow staff. “You get to interact with professors and authors from around the country, even around the world, and you don’t really get that opportunity as a law student in another context,” she explained. “You’re learning along the way; you’re making connections; and you kind of bond together with others on Law Review because after making it through the cite-checking process it’s like you’ve gone through war together.” Her passion for the journal led to her selection as editor-in-chief as a 3L.

Sosolik secured what she called her “dream job” at prominent IP firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon in Kansas City, Missouri, after a summer as an associate at the firm prior to her 3L year. She returned to Kansas City after graduation first to complete a year-long clerkship with Judge Kathryn Vratil in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, followed by a year-long clerkship with Judge Mary Briscoe in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit before joining Shook, Hardy & Bacon full time in their IP litigation practice group.

Not only is she eager to be in an area where the barbeque is on par with her Texas tastes, but also to work with clients on cases where she’ll never have to sacrifice creativity or abandon her drive to learn. “You get to learn a new technology or a new little area of IP law each time you go into a different case, and I find that really fascinating,” she explained. “I love how much wiggle room there is for arguments, because nothing is black and white.”