Matthias (Ty) Barringer '13

Undergraduate School: Vanderbilt University, Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Ocoee, TN

Previous Experience: I went directly to law school after completing my undergraduate degree. As an undergrad, I interned with Whirlpool and TLC Engineering for Architecture and also served as a research assistant for a professor.

Law School Highlights:
Intellectual Property Law Society
ABA Negotiation Competition

Q: Why did you choose Washington University?
A: My two main concerns when choosing a law school were reputation and affordability. Washington University’s generous financial aid allowed me to avoid compromising on either. The school’s intellectual property curriculum was also a major selling point. The selection of courses in that area is fantastic, and I felt like the practical offerings in patent drafting and intellectual property litigation fully prepared me for the IP matters I worked on during my 2L summer job.

Q: Which Law School activity or experience had the most meaning for you so far?
A: The most meaningful experience I’ve had at Washington University took place my 1L year at an annual dinner held in honor of scholarship donors. A professor who has been at WashU for decades had lost his wife the previous year, and the scholarship I had my 1L year was endowed in her name. Meeting the professor and having dinner with him and his son was a special experience, especially when I found out that he was born near where I grew up.

Q: Could you talk a little bit about your involvement with the Buder Foundation?
A: The Buder Center has been a great tool for showing me the resources available to me and other students of American Indian heritage. The Center is geared towards social work students, but there are plenty of opportunities like the annual Pow Wow that law students can take part in.

Q: What is it like living in St. Louis?
A: Living in St. Louis has been fun, and in a lot of ways I’ll be sad to leave. I really can’t say enough about how great living near Forest Park is. It’s surprising how many free events and attractions are centered there, and it’s an incredible space to explore if you like to spend time outdoors. The free Metrolink access you get as a WashU student is another great thing about being in St. Louis. It really opens the city up and makes it much easier to get to events downtown and in Clayton without having to deal with parking or traffic. As far as living goes, the neighborhoods near the school are great places to spend 3 years; I’ve lived in the Loop and the Central West End, and both have unique, fun vibes and events.

Q. What type of work experience have you had in law school?
A: I spent the summer after my 1L year in the legal department of Life Care Centers of America, a corporation headquartered near my hometown. I mostly did legal research related to employment law that summer, which I think really strengthened my research skills. After my 2L year, I was a summer associate in the Atlanta office of Alston & Bird LLP, where I spent time in the intellectual property litigation and patent groups.

Q. How has your experience with the Career Services Office been?
A: My experience with the CSO has been great – they’ve been willing to assist me whenever I’ve needed it, and they were especially helpful when I was getting my resume ready for law firms. I’ve also found that law students here are happy to give advice about their experiences with job fairs and interviews.

Q. What are your impressions of the law school community?
A: WashU Law is a welcoming place, which is another one of the reasons that I chose to come here. The students are definitely bright and hardworking, but people are also generally laid back and fun to be around. The administrators and faculty have always made me feel like they care about the success of their students, and I like that the faculty has a mix of academics and former/current practitioners.