From a “St. Cloud family of Huskies” to an associate at an international patent law firm in Boston, Tiffany Reiter’s education and career path has been an upward spiral through auspicious institutions and professional pursuits.
Entering St. Cloud State she discovered biotechnology, the perfect major to combine her scientific interests, and an encouraging faculty to give her knowledge and research experience outside the classroom, said Reiter, who graduated with summa cum laude honors and a ticket to a Ph.D. program in molecular biology at Mayo Graduate School.
Reiter went on to become a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases at the Harvard School of Public Health, conducting research and collaborating with prestigious institutions as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Along the way she developed an appreciation for the importance of communication and persuasive writing and reassessed her future.
“I decided to stop working in a lab and join a law firm,” Reiter said. So But before long, a reassessment of her professional plans saw her off to Suffolk University in Boston to study law. Today she’s an associate in the international intellectual property and patent litigation firm of Fish & Richardson.
In her challenging, rapidly-changing field, she communicates with clients and patent attorneys around the globe. “Now I need to understand both science and the law in different parts of the world and apply very different sets of skills,” she said.
“I really enjoy what I’m doing and would like to mentor other patent attorneys,” Reiter said. She also has an interest in working with young people who mirror her passion for science, volunteering as a judge at the annual Massachusetts State Science Fair at MIT, where members of her law firm write patents for student inventors.
Reiter aspires to be a partner in a law firm, but she also is looking into more non-profit opportunities for mentoring. She did a little teaching in graduate school and recognizes the effort and the resulting value in reaching out to those who are eager to learn. “I couldn’t have gotten where I did without my professors at St. Cloud State taking a special interest in me.”