SXU Alum Make Strides in Field of Law and Intellectual Property
Saint Xavier University (SXU) alum Peter Danos '14 has immersed himself in the world of law and intellectual property. In the midst of sharpening his litigation skills, Danos also is currently preparing for the patent bar and serves as a member of multiple intellectual property bar associations. Though he's made significant strides, Danos is only just getting started in his quest to become a respected and knowledgeable member of the patent bar and an effective advocate for future inventors and entrepreneurs.
Danos' longtime interest in law began from conversations with his uncle, who is an inventor and has developed multiple patents. He chose to major in biology, as he was interested in science and knew that a broad skill set would allow him to help as many people as he could once he became a practicing lawyer. After graduating from SXU, Danos attended the John Marshall Law School, where he earned his juris doctorate and graduated in the top 10 percent of his class with cum laude honors. Danos was a member of the UIC John Marshall Law Review and served as the student publication editor and on the Moot Court Council. He participated in the Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition, where he finished second in the Midwest regional and made it as a national quarterfinalist.
After finishing law school, Danos completed a federal clerkship with Judge Charles P. Kocoras of the United States District Court. During his time with Judge Kocoras, Danos would evaluate briefs submitted to the court, conduct research on the various issues and draft the court's decisions. He was able to build comradery with his co-clerks and court personnel and considered Judge Kocoras a mentor who really cemented his passion for law.
Danos then went on to serve as a litigation associate at Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, PLC. Unfortunately, his time at the firm was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which impacted workload. During his time there, he conducted legal research for partners and drafted dispositive and non-dispositive motions for a myriad of civil issues. "My favorite part about private practice is the ability to be an advocate for people and help their dreams become reality," said Danos.
Danos' interests have also led him to write articles for the Chicago Bar Association, including a recent one on biometric technology, which he believes has become more ubiquitous, thus generating privacy concerns, which are multiplied when companies retain an individual's biometric information. Danos has done significant research on the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act, something that may become increasingly more important in the law field.
Danos credits SXU for helping to prepare him for a career in law, believing that his experiences sharpened his critical thinking skills. "Saint Xavier is a university that attracts bright intellectuals who are intrinsically motivated and yearn for success. My professors created a collaborative environment that allowed me to push and learn from others on a daily basis," said Danos.
One of Danos' favorite things about SXU was the welcome community and the support system. "My professors were very attentive and genuinely cared about the successes of their students. The comradery between the student body and faculty were exemplary and the wealth of resources really enriched my learning experience," said Danos.
When asked what advice he has for current SXU students interested in the law field, Danos recommends they focus first on their grades and then the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). He also encourages students to network. "Reach out to attorneys or people in the governmental field and slowly build a contact list. See if they'd be willing to meet for a coffee or have a quick phone conversation, and stay in touch. You never know how the contacts you make today can help you in the future," Danos said.
"Be confident, but always be willing to learn and grow. Be patient when you set goals -- be consistent and things will eventually fall into place. Take ownership of what you want to do and get it done without letting the opinion of others get in your way," Danos added.
As Danos looks to the future, he plans to use his passion for intellectual property to get on the ground floor of industries developing brand new technologies, part of what he'll do when he passes the patent bar. An advocate for serving others, Danos truly exemplifies the ways SXU alumni continue to carry Saint Xavier's mission and values with them throughout their lives.