eSports Enthusiast Patrick Lee '20 Earns Prestigious IP Law Diversity Scholarship

Patrick Lee '20
August 16, 2019

Back in the day, street fighters faced off on sidewalks and in alleyways. Now they duke it out in the virtual worlds of Street Fighter 5, SoulCalibur 6, Tekken 7, and Mortal Kombat 11, among other popular fighting games played online at home and in arena competitions live streamed to millions of fans.   

Patrick Lee has been part of the fighting game community since he was in high school. The hobby has taken him from his hometown of Queens, NY to tournaments around the world, as a player and as a writer for a top gaming website. It’s also taken Lee to St. John’s Law, where his focus on Intellectual Property (IP) Law has earned him the 2019 New York Intellectual Property Law Association (NYIPLA) Hon. Giles S. Rich Diversity Scholarship.

Each year, the NYIPLA selects one law school to receive this $10K scholarship. The law school then awards the scholarship to one of its students based on its IP faculty’s recommendation and the student’s:

  • Expressed interest in pursuing a career in IP Law
  • Status as a minority student who represents a group that has been traditionally underrepresented in the legal profession
  • Academic eligibility adhering to the law school’s standard internal merit-based scholarship requirements

This marks the eighth consecutive year that a St. John’s Law student has won the award, and Lee is thrilled to be the 2019 recipient as he continues a course of study at the Law School that includes Introduction to IP Law, Entertainment Law, Copyright Law, and Trademark Law.

“As a competitive gamer, I’ve experienced the rise of eSports, the segment of the entertainment industry that brings competitive video gaming to the world stage,” Lee says. “This is a growing, billion-dollar business with sold-out events in stadiums and arenas and strong viewership numbers on Twitch, YouTube, cable TV, and other viewing platforms. Game developers, professional players, tournament sponsors, and broadcasters all need IP lawyers who understand the nuances of the gaming world. The knowledge and skills I’m building at St. John’s Law will help me serve them well.”

Looking forward to his final year at St. John’s, Lee is grateful for the support the NYIPLA scholarship provides. “It means a lot to me to earn this honor,” he shares. “I’m the son of immigrants, and I know how rare it is to find lawyers from underrepresented communities practicing IP Law and law in general. I’ve noticed the growing efforts to promote more diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, and I hope those efforts continue. It motivates me to work even harder to achieve my dreams of becoming an IP lawyer.”