Meet Raquel De Castro, 3L
University of Arkansas School of Law
1. Why did you choose to pursue a J.D. and what do you hope to do with your degree after graduation?
During the pandemic I watched a webinar on patenting scientific inventions. The presenter was a Ph.D. chemist who decided to leave the chemistry industry to become a patent lawyer. I was very intrigued about his decision since midway through my Ph.D. I had decided I did not want to stay in academia and was trying to figure out what my next move would be. I sought out two of my Ph.D. committee advisors and a few patent attorneys to learn about the profession and it was very clear after a few conversations that being a patent attorney was the right choice for me as it allows me to learn about all kinds of new technologies, even those outside of my area of expertise. After graduation, I will be moving to North Carolina to work as a patent prosecutor and patent litigation support at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton representing some stellar biotech companies.
2. What are some opportunities you have engaged in during your time at law school?
My time in law school has been a thrilling adventure. During my 1L year, I joined RSOs and represented my class in the Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter and Immigration Law Society. By my 2L year, I was diving deeper into extracurriculars. I had the privilege of working alongside Professor Uche Ewelukwa Ofodile to organize a Patent Bootcamp. This incredible event brought together innovators, inventors, and entrepreneurs, featuring nearly 20 inspiring presenters, including Molly Kocialski, the director of Rocky Mountain Regional USPTO. Continuing my involvement, in my 3L year I founded the Intellectual Property Law Student Association, a platform to guide fellow law students towards exciting careers and opportunities in the realm of intellectual property. Beyond campus, I have had the wonderful opportunity to be an extern at J.B. Hunt in the contract legal department, participate in various pro bono opportunities, and was selected to be the ABA student liaison for Science & Technology.
3. What has been your favorite part of law school so far?
My favorite aspect of law school has been the strong sense of community and the chance to socialize with classmates beyond the classroom. From bar review to self-care activities during finals, it’s been a unique experience that I missed during my other graduate studies.
4. What are your hobbies outside of work and school?
Outside of school, you will often find me strolling downtown Bentonville with my three dogs in the evening or exploring hiking trails on the weekends. I am a nature enthusiast who enjoys paddleboarding and rock climbing. Additionally, I have been a yoga instructor for six years and have recently begun training jiu-jitsu under the guidance of my husband, who holds a 3rd degree black belt.
5. Tell us something interesting about yourself that we couldn’t learn from reading your resume.
I played hockey and even spent a year as an exchange student in Minnesota, all for the love of the game.