Dominique Smith

Summer Job Diaries: Edwards Lifesciences Summer Intern Benefits from Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Mentorship

Dominique Smith '23, an LLS business law fellow and rising 2L, is applying her background in Neuroscience to the in-house intellectual property, securities and regulatory legal practices at Edwards Lifesciences.

How did you land your summer job?

My LLS counselor, Jolene Horn, reached out to me about the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) of Southern California Diversity Summer Internship program. I applied and shortly after, was offered a position in the program’s inaugural class. Given my Neuroscience background, ACC matched me with Edwards Lifesciences, a medical technology company in Irvine that specializes in the development and production of heart valves. At Edwards, I work with attorneys across several practice areas, including intellectual property, contracts, securities and regulatory law.

What is the most interesting part of your job?

While I have worked on many interesting projects this summer, my favorite thus far has involved conducting an extensive prior art search for one of the company’s new and complex inventions under the direction of a patent prosecutor. To gain an in-depth understanding of the technology, I am meeting with Edwards’ inventors and learning the technical characteristics that make up the invention. After my research is complete, I will be providing a comprehensive written opinion on whether Edwards should proceed with patenting the invention. Performing the role of patent prosecutor and gaining exposure to innovative and groundbreaking medical technology has made for an unforgettable summer experience.

What has been your most challenging assignment thus far?

The most challenging assignment I have worked on this summer has required me to delve into an area of law that I am not well-acquainted with: Securities. I am assessing required shareholder disclosures under federal law, and my work involves analyzing and creating a foundation for next year’s proxy statement. Navigating the Code of Federal Regulations to identify all of the information that companies are required to disclose to their shareholders is a demanding, yet necessary task that is essential to ensuring companies remain in compliance with their legal obligations. 

What new legal skill have you acquired during your summer job?

An important legal skill that I have become adept at this summer is legal research. Through utilizing legal research platforms, such as LexisNexis and Bloomberg, I have tackled multiple projects that require extensive legal analysis. I have also become more proficient in running prior art searches on patents through Google Patents and the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website.

What bit of legal knowledge have you been able to display?

Information that I learned in my Contracts class has proven useful, and the legal research and writing skills I acquired during my first year of law school have significantly contributed to my work product. Legal writing is an important skill that is constantly on display with every memorandum and written opinion I submit. 

How has Loyola helped you map your career path?

LLS’s Career Development Office is a fantastic resource, and my counselor, Jolene, helped me edit my resume, prepare for interviews, and land my summer job at Edwards Lifesciences. She has also offered me important career advice that I will carry with me throughout law school and beyond.