Justin Spurlock: Rocket Scientist to IP Attorney

Mar 10, 2021

KLA has never been just one thing. Our goal of advancing humanity through technology could not be achieved in today’s world with such a narrow focus. KLA achieves success because we have hard working, critical thinking problem-solvers not just in our laboratories, but also in the many offices (and home offices) of our global organization.

For example, Justin Spurlock.

Spurlock is a corporate counsel for intellectual property (IP) at KLA, based in our Ann Arbor facility, ensuring that the law appropriately protects the groundbreaking technology and products our engineers develop. This is a critical process in any field, requiring in-depth knowledge of IP protection and its relationship to governing bodies, but it is particularly important with revolutionary tech on the line. Fortunately, Spurlock’s experience as a NASA engineer gives him a unique perspective and makes him a perfect fit for KLA’s legal community.

In his recent interview for New Classrooms’ Blacks in STEM series, Spurlock discusses his journey from aerospace engineering to rocket science to semiconductor patent law, which began in his childhood. He credits the support he received at an early age from his parents and engineer cousins. Spurlock also asserts the importance of diversity and representation in STEM, encouraging young African Americans to “explore the heck out of STEM because there’s so many opportunities out there if you’re willing to explore”.

Spurlock also shares the novel approach KLA took in hiring for his role. His interview with KLA hinged on his ability to do the work rather than his industry experience. We believe tapping into diverse talent pools outside the semiconductor industry attracts inspiring talent like Spurlock and helps make our second US headquarters in Ann Arbor our most diverse site yet.

KLA is dedicated to continuous innovation, technology excellence and customer success. We believe in recruiting high-caliber employees from diverse backgrounds, cultures and experiences, and promoting an engaged and inclusive workplace that fosters collaboration and drives innovation. Learn more about KLA’s commitment to Inclusion and Diversity and find your role at KLA!


Tags: Ann Arbor

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