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About Rachel Herder

Rachel Herder joined the Penn State Law faculty from leading intellectual property firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where, as a member of the firm’s patents and innovation practice, she advised startup life science clients on various aspects of intellectual property law, including patent prosecution and litigation, university licensing, and Food and Drug Administration and healthcare regulations. She provided comprehensive counseling to clients on intellectual property and related business strategy with a focus on emerging companies. She managed global patent dockets, counsels clients in a variety of technology transactions, and analyzes intellectual property portfolios, including IP due diligence and freedom to operate. Herder also has client counseling and litigation experience related to diagnostic testing and gene patents.

While pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, Professor Herder’s work focused on neuropeptide regulation of steroid hormone biosynthesis in insects. Her scientific research has been published in Development, the Journal of Neuroscience, and Plant Cell, among other publications. Prior to pursuing her J.D. and Ph.D., Professor Herder was an associate research scientist in the Botany Department at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Professor Herder’s teaching and mentoring experience includes serving as an adviser in the Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project, where she provided guidance to law students advising a startup client on patentability and freedom to operate. She has also served as a lecturer and teaching assistant at the University of Minnesota.


Present Director, Intellectual Property Clinic and Assistant Professor of Clinical Law, Penn State Law



Ph.D., University of Minnesota
J.D., University of Minnesota Law School