When the second wave of the pandemic hit in 2021, Mithra Thiruchangu, LLM ’22, was a trademark attorney for a law firm in Chennai, India — but COVID-19 had forced her to work from home. It was during that time that she decided to pursue a master’s at an American law school. After reading an article about a UNH Franklin Pierce alumna who landed a job in Intellectual Property (IP) immediately following graduation, Thiruchangu knew she wanted to follow the same path.
And she has.
For the past year, Thiruchangu has been based in Los Angeles, where she was employed as an IP analyst at TikTok. In the day-to-day functions of her job, she was responsible for intellectual-property-related escalations, communicating constantly with large entertainment companies, from Disney to NBC.
“We were the front line in protecting their IP on the platform,” explains Thiruchangu, who earned her BA LLB from Gujarat National Law University in 2019.
“Apart from that, we also wrote the internal intellectual property policies.”
As was her goal, Thiruchangu secured the job offer at TikTok immediately after her UNH Franklin Pierce graduation. She was among the many international students at UNH Franklin Pierce and other American law schools who seek short-term employment in the U.S. after completing their degree programs. This can be done through Optional Practical Training (OPT), which allows foreign students residing in the U.S. on an F-1 visa the opportunity to obtain hands-on work experience in areas related to their academic major for up to 12 months after completing their degree program.
In October last year, she passed the New York Bar exam, and plans to sit in the future for the bar exams in both Massachusetts and California. Earlier this year, Thiruchangu was to be transferred to a TikTok branch in the UK but she had to let go of this opportunity due to personal constraints.
During her time in Concord, Thiruchangu served as a co-coordinator of the law school’s International Student Seminar series; co-founded a chapter of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA); and worked in the UNH Franklin Pierce Career Services Office (CSO). She says her job in the CSO gave her a head start on the job search process, as she was charged with updating the office’s jobs database, where she first learned of the opportunity at TikTok. She also served as a student attorney in the Intellectual Property & Transaction Clinic.
Thiruchangu says she decided to take the New York bar exam so that she would be licensed to practice in the United States. She also got tremendous support in the process from professors and staff at the law school, and credits the small, intimate community for offering the personal touch.
“After graduating with my LLM, it definitely opened the pathway in the sense that I was now eligible to take the New York bar or the California bar,” she says.
“Now that I am [licensed] in two international jurisdictions, that opens up a lot of a career opportunities in both countries.”
To learn more about Mithra’s LLM and OPT experience, we invite you to join her and a UNH Franklin Pierce representative for an online discussion on November 2 at 7pm IST.
<Contributed by the brand>