FEATURED ALUMNI OF 2011-2012
Chad Schiefelbein (’96)
Chad Schiefelbein graduated magna cum laude from Valparaiso University Law School in 1996 after completing his undergraduate education at Valparaiso University in 1992. Upon graduation, he was hired at Vedder Price, where he is still employed as a commercial litigator and equity partner that handles cases concerning intellectual property, trade secrets, consumer fraud, distributor termination, unfair competition and shareholder direct and derivative actions.Schiefelbein recommends that current law students take a non-traditional approach to job searching and networking with everyone they encounter. According to Schiefelbein, students need to differentiate themselves from other applicants and show a firm how they are capable of bringing value. “The difference between good lawyers and great lawyers is that great lawyers bring value.” He outlined that this “value” can be achieved through experience, knowledge and communication skills.Scheifelbein focused on how important it is to get involved. While in law school, he participated in the Student Bar Association, Law Review and Moot Court Team, on which he won a regional and national title. He feels that this concept of involvement should extend to the workplace and the community.
He recommended that all lawyers keep in contact and constantly network with people that they met in school and through employment. He cited the importance of alumni associations and staying involved with a variety of groups.
Vedder Price is a Chicago firm consisting of approximately 280 lawyers. They offer legal services in a variety of areas including employment law, health care, investment services, professional liability, securities, taxation, zoning, international law, intellectual property and environmental law.
Avaneesh Marwaha (’05)
Avaneesh Marwaha is a 2005 graduate of Valparaiso University Law School. He received his undergraduate degree in biology from Bradley University. Marwaha interned with an Intellectual Property lawyer while still in law school and was offered an associate position within this boutique law firm upon graduation. At the time, the firm had only three lawyers, but within two years, it had grown to twelve associates. He used the experience that he had gained at the firm to open his own practice in which he focused on expanding assets and changing the revenue streams of trademark and patent portfolios of small businesses. Marwaha sold his business and became COO and Executive Vice President of Code Red, a company that grew to $5 million in assets within 18 months. Marwaha is currently the CEO of Voltage Technologies, a global manufacturing company, and obtained this position through a connection with a friend from law school.He stressed the importance of finding a fulfilling job and striving to make your own path. He feels that too many students believe that jobs will fall into their laps after graduation and that is simply not the case. Students need to actively seek out employment and constantly network. He believes it is important to always present yourself in the best light possible and not be overly aggressive. He suggests reading non-legal materials in order to spur conversations at networking events. As an individual that has worked in a variety of industries, Marwaha cites confidence and prolific reading as necessary for getting up to speed in a new position.Marwaha feels this is a great time for students to get involved with Intellectual Property law. Changes in patent reform are causing a boom in this industry and both large and boutique firms will be hiring recent graduates. He suggests that students not limit themselves to only one type of intellectual property when starting out. It is important to gain all the experience possible and become more specialized down the road.