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Posted On October 11, 2019 Scholarship
Andrew Henderson isn’t your typical law school student. The 26-year-old engineer from Danville, KY, is going back to school thanks to a passion for patent laws that protect true technological innovators. Now a student at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, his enthusiasm and work ethic made him an excellent contender for the 2019 Console and Associates legal scholarship.
For Henderson, becoming an attorney isn’t about status or prestige, but about protecting the ‘little guys’ out there in the tech industry. The research and design engineer has seen firsthand how today’s patent laws serve to squash true innovation by favoring the interests of established and wealthy companies over new entrepreneurs and their emerging technologies.
“I have witnessed inventors’ tendency to suppress innovation in response to insufficient intellectual property protection,” he wrote in his scholarship essay. “This systemic trend is detrimental to society. Advances in technology generate goods and services that enhance the quality of life for all mankind.”
Henderson realized that getting involved in patent law – not just as an interest, but as a career he could dedicate his professional life to – is the answer to this problem. Common corporate practices and existing patent law unfairly protect the interests of established companies at the expense of innovators with something new to bring to the table, but pushing for change in the law and case law surrounding intellectual property can change all that.
Henderson cites his father as his inspiration for both technical problem-solving and entrepreneurial interests. A blue-collar worker who built houses from the ground up – developing the blueprints, putting down the foundation, constructing the walls and installing electrical and plumbing systems – he seemed to his son to be “a true innovator who created something from nothing.” Inspired by his father’s lessons, Henderson went on to study civil engineering at the University of Kentucky.
In the years since he graduated magna cum laude with his bachelor’s degree, Henderson has worked full-time as a research and design engineer. Rather than saving his money for his own graduate education, Henderson has used his income to help offset the medical bills that have resulted since his father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease during his senior year of studies.
“While sadness lingers, I find solace in the fact that despite my father’s dwindling memory, his teachings and example are living through my educational and career pursuits,” Henderson said. Although his law school studies will limit his ability to continue contributing financially to his father’s care, he intends to resume these contributions after finishing school.
Our team was touched by Henderson’s admiration for his father and the hard work he has put in throughout his undergraduate studies and his professional engineering career, as well as his passion for the law.
“Working at the intersection of law and technology will enable me to shape the law’s development to embrace innovation without impinging on well-established rights,” Henderson said. “Protecting my clients’ life’s work and bringing it to fruition will empower me to impact society in ways that I never could as an engineer.”
We couldn’t agree more!
Since 2013, the law firm of Console and Associates has sponsored a Legal Scholarship to help aspiring legal professionals overcome the financial hurdles to getting a legal education. The $1,000 scholarship is awarded to a student with a 3.0 or higher GPA pursuing a legal education. Students working toward a Juris Doctor degree or a major in pre-law, paralegal studies, legal assisting, and related fields are eligible to apply.
Our firm would like to congratulate Andrew Henderson on winning the 2018-2019 scholarship. We wish him well in all of his future endeavors. Students who would like to apply for the 2019-2020 Legal Scholarship should to learn more about the requirements and application process.