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The Carolina Intellectual Property Law Association seeks to promote mutually beneficial relationships, awareness, and pro-bono opportunities between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Community and the Intellectual Property Community at large by inviting speakers, arranging informational meetings, and actively pursuing interaction with attorneys specializing in all aspects of intellectual property law.

Meet Our 2015-2016 Board Members


Alex Covington, 3L

Contact Alex

I'm Alex. I'm from Kernersville, NC, and I studied Chemical Engineering at NC State in undergrad. My interest in IP focuses on patent law. This past summer I worked as an Intellectual Property Intern at Eastman Chemical Company.

Vice President

Ali Burner, 2L

Contact Ali

I am originally from Austin, Texas and I went to undergraduate school at Washington and Lee University. There I majored in Art History and Politics. I am interested in Copyright and Trademark law. This summer I split my time. I worked at Freeman’s Auction House in Philadelphia in their Trust & Estates department and at a firm in New Jersey that practices insurance law.


Becca Messinger, 2L

Contact Becca

I'm originally from Ohio, but I went to undergrad here at UNC and majored in English. I spent two years after college working as a paralegal in Washington, DC. I'm interested in copyright and trademark law. I'm also interested in criminal defense, and this past summer I worked for the Capital Defender's Office in Durham.

Communications Officer

Alison Melvin, 3L

Contact Alison

I am from Lake Norman, NC, and received my B.S. in biological sciences from North Carolina State University in 2012. I interned at RTI International over the summer in their Office of Intellectual Property Counsel and am currently working at Chiesi USA, Inc. in their Office of General Counsel, with a focus on patent law. My interests lie at the intersection of health sciences and intellectual property.

Pro Bono Coordinators

Bret Buckler, 2L

Contact Bret I grew up in Winston-Salem, NC, and is pursuing a career in patent law. My interest in intellectual property began during my time at the University of Alabama, where I earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. I split my summer working at both Moore & Van Allen in Charlotte and Coats & Bennett in Cary. My experience at these firms exposed me to a wide array of IP matters including patent prosecution/litigation and trademark assessment.

Leland Black, 2L

Contact Leland

I am originally from Gainesville, FL, and received a B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Florida. I then moved to Alabama for graduate school and received a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Staying true to my love of science, I decided to attend law school to pursue a career as a patent attorney. 1L summer I had the pleasure of working at Myers, Bigel, Sibley, and Sajovec, a patent law boutique firm in Raleigh, NC.

Career Night Coordinator

Yishi Yin

Contact Yishi

I am from Atlanta, GA, where I studied Biology at Georgia State University. Prior to law school I was doing virological research at Emory University. My main interests in IP are patent litigation, or IP litigation in general. Last summer I was interning at a Chapel Hill criminal defense firm.

CLE Coordinator

Sharon Lin

Contact Sharon

I'm from Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, in Los Angeles County. I went to undergrad at the University of California Davis. I am interested in Trademarks and Copyrights, particularly in the fashion industry. This past summer I worked at a legal nonprofit organization in San Francisco. I worked on a research project on trademarking the name of a training program the organization had developed and spent my remaining time on immigration work.

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106
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