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Science, Technology, and the Law: A Business Lawyer for Biotech Startups and Psychologist Trial Consultant

Presented by Eric Y. Drogin and Hugh B. Wellons

Note: This is not for CLE.  Live webinars are free and open to the public. The recorded program and materials are exclusively for ABA members.

The Career Choice Series is designed to help you choose your career path. Whether you’re a law student, young lawyer, or transitioning attorney, find out what it’s like to work in various practice areas and the best way to position yourself to get there.


In this segment, our speakers will describe how science, technology, and the law intersect. Both have found ways to enhance their legal practices with graduate education in other fields. Specifically, one is a business lawyer with a degree in business administration who represents biotechnology startups, and the other is a trial consultant with a degree in psychology who serves as a forensic mental health trial consultant. Both have enhanced their careers by remaining exceedingly active in the ABA and other professional organizations. Our speakers will explain what drew them to the law, describe their career paths (including the pros and cons), convey what a typical (or not so typical) day of blended practice entails, and provide invaluable insight into the skills you’ll need to develop a personalized legal career of your own.


Eric Y. Drogin, Harvard Medical School; University of New Hampshire School of Law (Adjunct); Boston, MA
Hugh B. Wellons, Member, Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, Roanoke, VA

Emily Roschek, Director, ABA Career Center and Senior Lawyers Division, Chicago, IL

Sponsored by ABA Career CenterYoung Lawyers DivisionLaw Student Divisionand Section of Science and Technology Law

Video, Materials, and Q&A

Download the PowerPoint


I was curious about how Drogin would recommend a lawyer getting into more psychology related aspects of law if they didn’t have an advanced psychology degree.

Good point; not everyone has the time or money to go away to graduate school for several years!  The American Psychology-Law Society has several online resources relevant to this topic.  For ABA members, there is the Behavioral & Neuroscience Law Committee of the ABA Section of Science & Technology Law.  I’d be glad to answer any additional questions directly at [email protected].

I am a law student working in a small business law center. For the business attorney, would you consider that a great level of experience when looking for a future associate?

This is difficult to answer without knowing more of your background and the type of work you are doing at the center, but I suspect that this will provide terrific experience. 

Work in a small business law center will expose you to most issues that startup businesses face.  Technology companies are not that different from other startups in terms of needing to learn how to develop a business plan, choose a structure for a business, budget, find (or grow) capital, identify potential partners, plan strategically, develop an exit strategy, etc.  If the center does not have a number of technology-based companies, you may want to take a course in IP law and licensing and read what you can on the regulatory law that governs certain industries. 

Also, you may not be involved deeply in the financial aspects of these companies, but to do this work it helps to have a basic understanding of accounting statements, basic credit and bankruptcy law, and business taxation.  This will help you spot issues and advise the client when they need a specialist.  You also might want to join the Business Law Section’s Middle Market and Small Business Committee.  It has helpful material available and an active listserve. 

If you are interested in more technical material on specific tech-focused industries, you may want to look at the committees available under the Section of Science and Technology. Sign up for the ones that interest you.   If you have further questions, I am available intermittently at [email protected].