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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Law & Order: MIT Alum Unit by Matt McGann '00

Going to law school after MIT, and a profile of the first sitting federal judge to give birth.

I’m often asked about MIT students going off to law school. For some reason, people don’t seem to realize that you can come to MIT, major in anything (science, engineering, or even our well-regarded programs in political science and economics), and then go to law school. Actually, surveys show that 5-6% of MIT alums earn a J.D.

Of my MIT friends who are lawyers, one is a Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society, another handles a significant caseload in New York City’s Family Court, and a third is an attorney for McGuireWoods, LLP. And I have two more friends entering law school this fall.

So when I saw this article in Technology Review, I knew I had to blog it (if for no other reason but to poitn people here when answering questions). I think Judge Moore’s story is pretty inspiring, and I wish her all the best:

Kimberly Moore ’90, SM ’91
Youngest Judge Appointed to U.S. Court of Appeals
By Sharron Kahn Luttrell
Technology Review, July/August 2007

Kimberly Pace Moore ’90, SM ’91 has racked up a number of firsts. Raised in Baltimore by a single mother who worked as a secretary and a waitress, Moore was the first in her family to attend college. On September 8, 2006, four months after President George W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC, she became the youngest person to join the federal judiciary. And in early March, Moore became the first sitting federal judge to give birth.

The baby is a first in her own right—the first daughter to Moore and her husband, Matthew Moore, a patent lawyer and partner at the law firm Howrey LLP. The Moores, who live in Falls Church, VA, also have three sons, ages six, four, and two.

Moore, who planned to be a scientist or engineer when she enrolled at MIT, earned two degrees in electrical engineering. However, her direction changed after she took a class in patent law with MIT lecturer Robert Rines ’42, an inventor and attorney. “That sparked my interest in this blend of law and technology,” she says.

She pursued that interest by attending law school at Georgetown University, where Rines had earned his JD. After a year in private practice in Los Angeles and a stint clerking for Glenn L. Archer Jr., who was chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Moore began teaching intellectual-property law at several universities. While clerking, she also served as an expert consultant on patent cases and coauthored Patent Litigation and Strategy. Moore earned a reputation for her use of empirical data to explore and explain trends in patent litigation. Her years at MIT were good training. “It’s definitely a school that focuses on teaching you to be very analytical and to work hard,” she says.

Moore was a tenured professor at George Mason University School of Law when she learned of her nomination to the federal bench. “I was humbled that President Bush chose me,” she says. “It is an incredible honor. We were all very surprised. It’s the greatest job in the world. I’m really enjoying it.”

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MIT Pre-Law Advisors
MIT Law Club

34 responses to “Law & Order: MIT Alum Unit”

  1. Hawkins '12 says:

    Awesome. My favorite part was the title. =)

  2. Hey Matt

    I have already applied to Mit twice, once after completing IGCSE and once after completing AS level…can I apply again after I finish my A Levels this year??

    Ankit Chandra
    Gaborone, Botswana

  3. Paul '11 says:

    I love the title too. Great story.

    Also, I’m vaguely amused that so few people have commented. I haven’t been OMG SEC0ND P0ST!!11! in forever.

    Not that I’m encouraging anyone to actually make that sort of comment. =/

  4. Edgar says:

    Here I come with my contribution to lower Paul’s amusement:
    No doubt, the title is splendid!

  5. Eva says:

    I’m from Falls Church, VA! It’s a 2.2 square mile city, I’m bound to run into her at some point. Very cool story.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The ’00 after Matt’s name indicates that he graduated in 2000.

  7. Isshak says:

    It just goes to show that nothing’s impossible.
    Great article Matt. Oh I had a question, in what year did you graduate, if it’s not too personal ?

  8. Hawkins '12 says:

    @Sanja – The deadlines page says December is the last month to take standardized tests (SAT) for the Regular Action application, and January tests may be accepted on a case-by-case basis. That doesn’t sound like a chance I’d be willing to take…

  9. Wings '11 says:


    Just a note =P

  10. Hawkins '12 says:

    @Wings – Oh, I agree. Women are great. =)

  11. Hank R. says:

    I always get weird looks when I say I want to go to law school, but I’m attending MIT for undergrad.

  12. Farhad says:

    Hey, this is Mr. Questions again!
    Who decides what SAT subject test in math should I take? Can I decide if I want to do level one or level two?
    By the way, I had my interview last week, it was really cool :D

  13. Hawkins '12 says:

    Wow, I’m spending waaaay too much time here…

    @Farhad – That decision is up to you. On the Standardized Test Requirements page, completely italicized for emphasis, is this statement: “We do not have a preference as to which science you take or which level math you take.

  14. Hawkins '12 says:

    Oh, and glad to hear your interview went well! I got a tour of NASA facilities in Langley, VA after my interview. Awesome!

  15. Sanja says:

    Hey smile
    I have a question about SAT. College board says that deadline for SAT/ACT scores is 15-Feb. Does it mean that I can take SAT in January?

  16. Sanja says:

    Btw, I am international applicant if that’s important smile

  17. Sanja says:

    Of course I’m not going to take SAT in January for the first time, but in case I screw up, it would be nice to have an opportunity to retake the test smile

    Btw, my interview is waived because there is not an Educational Counselor assigned to my area :(

  18. Amirah says:

    @ Ankit: you applied for admission RIGHT after IGCSEs??? :o (I’m starting AS this fall. :] )

  19. ralph says:

    hey..what all do they ask in the interview..mind telling us everything?
    anyway i can contact u?u on any network?

  20. Isshak says:

    @Farhad Oh Hawk you really think it’s up to us ? I was thinking that taking Maths level 2 was better seen by MIT, or even if it’s not, well it’s good for the student to enter MIT with Maths level 2 knowledge right ? And as for science, I think it’s really up to you. I chose Chemistry because I think it’s interesting, but you should choose the best subject for you.
    Is there a way to know the statistics of students who applied (not accepted, but just applied) per country ? Thanks!

  21. Isshak says:

    Oh I forgot to ask, Hank, are you the Hank on Snively’s CPW 2007 blog ?

  22. Edgar says:

    Wow, looks like Snively’s popularity is increasing exponentially! smile

  23. @Amirah

    Ya I applied after IGCSE and after AS…was testing my luck as they said that they prefer people who have finished A levels…now since I will finish A levels this year…hopefully I can apply again!!!

    Ankit Chandra
    Gaborone, Botswana

  24. Ronny CHEN says:

    I love Snively’s blog, too!! He’s really great!

  25. EV says:

    Hi Ben or Matt – or anyone. I’ve been trying to contact my EC several times, including emails from late July. But no answer, what so ever.

    What should I do?

  26. Hawkins '12 says:

    @EV – He/she could be traveling or still on vacation or something, so I wouldn’t panic yet, but if you have tried e-mailing and calling your EC for a while and still can’t get in touch with them, e-mail [email protected] and they will hook you up.

  27. anonymous says:

    Hi, I’ve been wondering about college costs.

    All the big universities cost the same, around 45k for everything. And at all the seminars, during all the tours, in all the pamphlets it says that theres need based scholarships.

    It’s true that few students actually pay the full price, but the issue is, not a single school gives any vigorous numerical guidelines for such need based scholarships.

    How much do a students parents need to make to have to pay full fare? I know “every family has a different financial situation,” but could you offer any rough number? 150k? 200k?

    Its irritating having to face college admissions in a year and having no clue what I’ve got to pay except that “it will be reasonable.”

  28. snively says:

    Ha, financial aid. I’m one of those few that’ll be paying for pretty much all of it. Here’s the deal though, MIT was my dream school. I’ll be paying off about $160,000 in loans by the end of it, but it’s worth it because it’s MIT. It’s all about how much you want it. You can pay for college, some people just may be paying longer (like me!)

  29. Isshak says:

    Snively, not wearing your ’11 reward yet ?
    About that financial aid, can we like pay for our first year, and then apply for financial aid in our second year ?

  30. Hawkins '12 says:

    @anonymous – Maybe you’re just not looking in the right place. =) MIT’s financial aid system can be confusing (it took me a while to figure everything out for my situation), but it is pretty straightforward.

    No college is as simple as “if you make x income per year then you will pay x to the school.” There are exceptions, allowances, etc., which shape your individual situation and provide a more clear picture of your family’s ability to pay for school.

    MIT uses the Institutional Methodology to calculate need, the Student Financial Services web site has a great page called “How Much Will I Have To Pay?” that explains how the need is divided up and gives a link to a calculator you can use to estimate your EFC.

  31. Dear Sir Mr. McGann,
    I have been trying to reach you since last year’s decisions have been released. I have many questions to be answered, I am really confused……..

    I am from India, I hope you still remember me.I applied to MIT last year, was rejected(resons unknown, I know the process is tough, and only the best can get in. But I seriously want to study at MIT, although now I have enrolled myself in a university in UK – University Of Surrey.But I still want to study at MIT, and I am not very sure if I would be eligible to apply as a freshamn this year or should I apply as transfer next year.

    But I dont know what the deadline is for transfer admissions, moreover I never came across the line”Transfer Applications are now online”.

    MOreover, do I need to give SAT again to apply for next years transfer admissions,because I gave it last year also, and I guess the scores were decent.

    i have more questions, related to transfer admissions, but I’ll email you only if you allow me, because I guess there’s some problem out there that you haven’t been replying to my emails…..


  32. Hawkins '12 says:

    @utkarsh sharma – just to clear some things up before Matt responds…

    1. You will not be eligible to apply as a freshman if you will have completed a full year at another university by the time you would be enrolling at MIT. That’s their policy.

    2. You don’t need to take the SAT again unless you want to; your scores from last year are still valid. I’m not sure if you’ll need to have them sent to MIT again or not, as you’ve already applied once. Matt will know.

    3. The transfer application is online and can be found here, but it doesn’t appear to have been updated for the current year yet. At least it will give you a good idea of what your application will look like.

    4. There’s a ton of helpful information about transfer admissions on these two pages. Good luck to you!

  33. By the way I am really sorry for being off the topic, but couldn’t help it……….sorry

  34. Thanks hawkins………..well i was expecting Mr. McGann to reply……had many other question……

    Anyways thanks for your reply……was helpful