Annemarie Bridy Wins University Mid-Career Award
University of Idaho College of Law Professor Annemarie Bridy didn’t take a typical path to law school or academia.
“I wanted to be an English professor, so I got a Ph.D.,” Bridy said.
She earned her doctorate in English literature from the University of California Irvine in 1998, where she taught undergraduate courses in expository writing and the English novel. Looking for a career change, Bridy decided to move back home to the Philadelphia area, where she took a job writing questions for the LSAT.
“I knew I didn’t want to do that for the rest of my life,” she said. That’s when she decided to go to law school and began taking night classes at the Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law. “The life experience you find in an evening classroom at a law school is so diverse; it makes law school such an interesting experience.”
Bridy graduated magna cum laude from law school in 2004. After judicial clerkships in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, she took a job as an associate in the litigation group at the law firm of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads in Philadelphia.
After about a year and a half in practice, Bridy knew she wanted to go back to teaching, so she decided to apply for legal academic positions.
“I didn’t realize how crazy the job market was for legal academia,” she said. “I figured: If I get a job, I get a job; if not, I already have a good job. There was really nothing to lose.”
Once a year, law school representatives go to the Association of American Law Schools’ Faculty Recruiting Conference in Washington, D.C., where they interview candidates for two days — sort of like speed dating for legal academia. After the interviews, law schools decide who they will call back for interviews on campus.
Bridy was invited to the recruiting conference for an interview with the University of Idaho and a few other schools. Almost immediately, she got a call back from Idaho.
“When Liz Brandt called me to invite me to campus for the call back, she said, ‘What do you know about Moscow, Idaho?’ I said, ‘It’s very beautiful and very remote.’ As a person who had always lived on the coasts, that was pretty much all I knew,” Bridy said.
At the same time, it seemed like a place full of possibility.
Bridy joined the faculty at UI in 2007, and became a full professor in 2014. This spring, she was awarded the UI Awards for Excellence Mid-Career Faculty Award.
Bridy is based at the Boise location of the College of Law, located in the Idaho Law and Justice Learning Center. She has been working over the last few years on enhancing the College’s Intellectual Property Law Program through strategic partnerships with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). She spearheaded an effort in 2015 to have the College’s Small Business Legal Clinic recognized as a USPTO Certified Trademark Clinic. This year, she has been working with Associate Dean for Boise Programs Lee Dillion to bring the USPTO’s Patent Pro Bono Program to the State of Idaho. The program should be fully up and running within a matter of months.
“This is a program that the College will run in cooperation with the USPTO and the Idaho State Bar Intellectual Property Law Section. We’ll match qualified small inventors with intellectual property attorneys who will help them, free of charge, to apply for patents,” she said.
Through the Pro Bono Program and the Small Business Legal Clinic, the College of Law can support entrepreneurship in Idaho and contribute to economic development in the state, Bridy said.
Bridy also has been awarded the UI Alumni Award for Excellence in teaching and mentoring five times, as well as the College of Law’s William F. and Joan L. Boyd Award for Teaching Excellence.
Article by Gemma Gaudette, University of Idaho