Park Ridge, Illinois
Class of 2023
- Litigation (patents or torts)
- General counsel
I've played piano for about 18 years.
You have to find the joy in it
While originally from Park Ridge, Illinois, choosing to pursue law school in Madison was a no-brainer for Dylan Burdelik, a second-year student at the University of Wisconsin Law School.
"The Badgers were my adopted college sports team when I was a young boy, so it only made sense I would look in Madison to continue my education," he said, adding he had multiple family members also choose, or graduate from, the prestigious land-grant institution.
While Bucky Badger may have gotten Burdelik's foot in the door, what really sold him on the university was that UW just "felt" right.
"I started law school in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and choosing UW Law School was easy," he said. "It just felt like home. Plus, it's only a two-hour drive from Madison to Park Ridge, so being able to go home and see my family and dog anytime I want is a huge bonus."
When Burdelik began considering a career path, law stood out as a profession he felt matched his personality and thought process. He always loved math and science, two subjects which require attention to detail and logical thinking at every step. Building on these interests, he earned a degree in mechanical engineering and honed his problem-solving abilities.
"But my parents litigate for a living," he said. "So, growing up, I would talk to them every day about what they do, and I just found it fascinating."
More importantly, he said, he thinks law's fun.
"Practicing law is a great mental puzzle and a job worth doing," he said. "But all work and no play is no way to live. You have to find the joy in it."
And Burdelik did find joy as a student at UW Law. He said the best part about law school has been the friendships he's made with classmates who share his sense of humor and passion for the law.
"My most memorable experience is making one of my best friends at school by arguing with him about a criminal law problem before we even introduced ourselves," he explained.
The two formed a regularly-meeting study group and supported one another throughout their journeys—checking in not just about classes and questions, but also about each other's mental health and family lives.
"Practicing law is a great mental puzzle and a job worth doing. But all work and no play is no way to live. You have to find the joy in it."
At UW Law, Burdelik has also valued his time with the Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic (L&E Clinic). As a student associate, he helped budding entrepreneurs while honing his legal skills under the supervision of practicing attorneys.
"Working with my supervisor, Professor Anne Smith, helped me develop my own approach to handling challenging circumstances," he said. "And Professor Jeffrey Glazer taught me the ins and outs of consulting contracts—the nuances of which became even more apparent after I had the good fortune of sitting in his Introduction to Intellectual Property lectures."
Most cogently to his expected practice, Burdelik worked extensively with patents in areas from mechanical devices to bioengineering, projects.
Upon graduation, Burdelik plans to litigate either patents or torts—two areas of interest that have emerged throughout his time at UW. In the distant future, he's also given some thought to consulting for an engineering firm or becoming a general counsel, and maybe, one day, a judge.
"UW Law has been helping me prepare for my career, first and foremost, by giving me the opportunity to receive a first-rate education," he said. "Beyond that, building close friendships with other capable Badgers and programs such as the L&E Clinic are invaluable. I cannot wait to see where this path leads."
Submitted by Law School News on May 3, 2022