Jonathan Lee

Summer Job Diaries: International Law Student Gains Hands-On IP Experience at Motion Picture Association International's Asia Pacific Office in Singapore

Jonathan Lee

Jonathan Xue Han Lee '22 is a rising third-year JD international student who is spending the summer at the Motion Picture Association's Asia Pacific office in Singapore applying the knowledge he's learned through Professor Hughes' Intellectual Property Concentration to the protection of creative work in the region.

How did you land your summer job?

Somewhere in the middle of my 2L year, I applied to be a part of the IP concentration at LLS. Professor Justin Hughes, who runs the concentration, graciously welcomed me into the concentration and asked if I had any questions. Not surprisingly, given his experience in South-East Asia and my personal background as a Singapore citizen, I had plenty of questions. (I still do!) One of those questions was about trying to work in IP policy and if I was going about my summer job search the right way. Professor Hughes reassured me, proceeded to help me navigate my options, and figured out how he could help me. Professor Hughes then reached out to one of his contacts at the MPA’s Asia Pacific Office in Singapore, and the rest is history.

What is the most interesting part of your job?

Because the MPA is a trade organization for a global business, it advocates for the protection of creators and creative works via Copyright Law, and various forms of content protection, all over the world. This means that here in the Asia-Pacific office where I work, I get to work with a myriad of laws from various jurisdictions in the Asia-Pacific region. Seeing the various ways all the different countries have approached content protection or copyright law is unbelievably interesting.

What has been your most challenging assignment thus far?

It was probably starting work in the middle of a three-week quarantine due to the pandemic. I had left Los Angeles for Singapore right after finals to visit my parents and to be in the country for my job with the MPA. This meant that I had to stay in a mandated quarantine hotel for three weeks and started work right in the middle of that. I had no idea where the hotel would be, but I knew that the minute I landed I would be whisked off to one of these hotels.

While I was extremely excited to start work, I was worried about how that was going to happen from my hotel room. Thankfully, once I landed it turned out the hotel had internet access. My supervisors, also went out of their way to arrange a pre-start zoom call to make sure everything was ok and that I had everything I needed to start my first day. So, all in all, challenges were surmounted, albeit with some luck and help.

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

Learning to mentally switch between jurisdictions when I read the various statutes that come up at work. Because my legal education at Loyola has been focused on U.S. copyright law, I had to get used to adapting that knowledge and understanding how copyright law works differently in other countries. One also must do this quickly because you could be talking and thinking about Japanese statutes one minute and Taiwanese ones the next.

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

I think that my legal analytical skills are on display in the opinion memos and summaries that I draft. I would not say that any specific portion of my legal knowledge from class particularly comes up because we are dealing with such different countries, but the core skills of legal research and analysis come up at work every day.

How has Loyola helped you map your career path?

One word: Faculty. I have had the amazing good fortune to have interacted with the most amazing professors over the last two years. Many of my professors have been unbelievably kind in sharing their most candid opinions about my career options and chosen vocations. Much of what many of them have said has made its way into how I see my career growing and my chosen vocation. I cannot thank all of them enough.