Mary Kate Raczka '22 Wins PA Bar Association’s Annual IP Writing Competition


For the fourth consecutive year, a Villanova Law student won the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Annual Intellectual Property (IP)Writing Competition. Mary Kate Raczka '22 placed first for her article, “The Old Woman Who Lives in Her Shoes: How Clothing and Fashion Designs Would Be Analyzed and Protected Under Title 17 if the United States Treated Fashion Like Architecture.” Additionally, Villanova Law’s Justin W. Bogle '22, placed second for his article, “Adding Friction to a Frictionless World: Cryptocurrency and Intellectual Property Protections.”

The IP Law Section writing contest was established in 2004 to provide an opportunity for 2L and 3L law students to express their insight and knowledge in the areas of patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and trade dress. The competition is open to all law students in the United States who intend to take the Pennsylvania bar exam. Cash prizes are awarded to the winners.

“I am overjoyed that my article was selected as the winner,” said Raczka. “I structured my courses and extracurricular activities around my appreciation for both intellectual property law and fashion. Writing this article was a fantastic opportunity to combine these passions in a unique way. I would like to thank Vice Dean Michael Risch for his monumental help throughout the learning and writing processes.”

While at Villanova Law, Raczka was a managing editor for the Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Journal, a student attorney in the Clinic for Law & Entrepreneurship, and she is also now a member of the Order of the Coif national honor society. She holds a BS in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After sitting for the Pennsylvania Bar Exam this summer, Raczka will join Dechert LLP’s Philadelphia office in their corporate and securities practice group.

Second-place winner Bogle plans to join Mullen Coughlin LLC in Devon, PA where he will focus on data privacy and cyber security issues. “Ever since coming to law school, I have been intensely interested in the different intersections between IP law and the new realities and challenges of the internet,” said Bogle. “I want to thank Vice Dean Risch for providing both the space and the support to investigate this question as it relates to cryptocurrency, as the dangers of cryptocurrency continue to grow.”

Villanova Law excels in offering many options to explore the IP field, whether it is a JD concentration or taking courses in the focus area of study. The IP curriculum at Villanova Law is taught by IP experts, like Vice Dean Michael Risch, who help students strengthen their basis of knowledge and hone the skills necessary for practice.

Since 2013, Villanova Law students have seen continued success in the IP Writing Competition:

  • 2021: Jennifer Black '21, First Place
  • 2020: Allison White '20, First Place
  • 2019: Joshua Schmid '19, First Place
  • 2018: Lara M. Ruggiero  '18, Second Place; Chandel Boozer '18, Third Place; Seth Fenster, Honorable Mention
  • 2017: Eliese Herzl-Betz  '17, First Place; Chandel Boozer '18, Second Place
  • 2016: Jessica Watkins '16, Second Place; Christie L. Larochelle '16, Honorable Mention
  • 2015: Catherine Contino '15, First Place; Courtney(Grochowski) O'Brien '15, Second Place; Brett A. Zakeosian '15, Honorable Mention
  • 2014: Leah M. Octavio '14, First Place; Michael Haviland '14, Second Place
  • 2013: Dan McManus '13, Second Place

In addition to Vice Dean Michael Risch, Villanova Law’s IP faculty includes Brett Frischmann, The Charles Widger Endowed University Professor in Law, Business and Economics, and Professor Ana Santos Rutschman.