Chemistry Major, Aspiring Patent Lawyer Finds Perfect Fusion of Interests

Alex Lemke


Published Date: March 11, 2014

The University of Dallas Cor Fund provides scholarships to hundreds of UD students. Over the next several weeks, we will share some of their stories. Donations to the Cor Fund come from alumni, parents and friends of UD.

When asked if he has lawyers in his family, Alex Lemke, BA '14, laughed a little. "No — it's just something I've always really wanted to do," he said.

Practicing law has been his ambition from a young age. For his undergraduate studies, however, Lemke knew he wanted to major in chemistry while receiving a solid general education. The liberal arts seemed like the way to reconcile these seemingly disparate aspirations, and in UD he found everything for which he was searching.

"UD is the perfect blend," he said.

Lemke aims to become a patent lawyer. He appreciates that patent law combines law with science.

"You basically get to be the first one to see new inventions, and you have to do a lot of research," he said. "It requires a lot of reading, writing and science — all things I love."

Lemke wanted a well-rounded education, which makes sense because he seems to embody well-roundedness by nature. As an Eagle Scout, he led a group of boys in the restoration of a state park entrance near his home in Wisconsin when he was only 14. At 19, he managed a swimming pool for a summer, which included 10 employees and an $80,000 budget. For recreation, he swims and plays baseball and Ultimate Frisbee. He also reads for pleasure as much as possible in the midst of rigorous UD academics.

Lemke is a member of Student Foundations, UD's oldest club, which is in charge of events such as the Groundhog 5K, Tower Film Fest and care packages during finals. They also purchase pieces of student artwork to hang in Haggar University Center. Additionally, he is part of the Student Government Senior Committee, which is responsible for the senior gift.

You may also find Lemke at UD's Cappuccino Bar, where he is a barista.

Finally — to demonstrate his prowess as a chemistry nerd — Lemke has assisted Professor and Department Chair of Chemistry Bill Hendrickson with research, resulting in the publication of the paper "Alcohol Transformation with Sodium Hypochlorite Dependent on pH, Structure, Environment and Phase Transfer Catalyst."

Could another school have met Lemke's needs as well as UD does? Lemke doesn't think it's likely. Luckily, he never had to find out, because thanks to the Cor Fund, he got to attend the school that was his first choice — a choice that has proven to be a very good one.

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