Back in 2005, while my husband, Paul, was in the midst of his third year of law school at good ol' University of Baltimore, we started to contemplate our future. We could take the traditional route; an aspiring Patent Attorney, Paul could apply for positions at local B'more law firms, or the USPTO in DC. However, Paul and I weren't ready to throw in the towel and settle down. We started to look for a new adventure.
Ready to try out a new city, state and possibly even a new country, we started to look at Intellectual Property LL.M. programs, Masters in Law. In the United States, many legal professionals don't see the point in an LL.M., however, this was a great opportunity for Paul to further his expertise in Intellectual Property and specifically patent law. He applied to programs all over the United States, including San Francisco, St. Louis, Seattle, Chicago and Washington, DC. He also applied to a program in London, and low and behold there was an English speaking program in Munich. Ultimately he was accepted into all of the programs, but the one in Munich had the most appeal.
The Munich Intellectual Property Law Center was still fairly new, only a couple years old since it's inception. MIPLC was a partnership between Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law, the University of Augsburg, the Technische Universität München, and the George Washington University Law School (some of the biggest names in Intellectual Property academia). But what impressed Paul, was that there was no permanent faculty, the classes were taught by the elite of the World's IP academia and professionals. Another deciding factor, was that Munich's location, pretty close to the center of Europe. What a great jumping point to visit other countries and cities in Europe. It was dual package, it would sooth our wanderlust and it would further Paul's career.
We moved to Munich in September of '06. Since I couldn't work, while we were in Munich, we decided it was the perfect time to get pregnant. I could fill a whole blog on being pregnant and giving birth in Munich, so I'm not going to say much right now, other than it was ultimately a great experience. I'll try to fill in other posts with reflections on being pregnant and giving birth here. In April '07, our son, Maximilian was born.
Four months later, albeit reluctantly, we returned to the USA. Paul finished his thesis in the States and started to look for a job. In January '08, he started his career at a law firm, as one of their first Patent Attorneys, we bought a home in Western Virginia, and we started to settle down. We made friends, joined clubs, and classes. We planned to live out our lives here, we thought our adventuring days were over.
However, not quite six months into our new "settled lives" Paul received an offer from the biotech company in Munich he had interned at during his LL.M. We were not looking for this, nor were we expecting it. It surprised us as much as we surprised our families, friend and colleagues when we accepted the position. We decided we weren't ready to throw in the towels on our adventure, and we didn't see any reason why our son Maximilian couldn't join the adventure with us. That brings us to today, here we are starting our lives in Munich once again. This time we have a different perspective on our lives here, as we are now Raising an American in Europe.