Laura McJilton



Laura McJilton is an associate and intellectual property lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. She is a member of the firm’s Chemical, Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical Practice.

Prior to joining Foley, Laura worked as a senior process engineer at Intel for over five years. While serving in that role, she was involved in transferring new processes to sites in Abuquerque, NM, Phoenix, AZ, and Leixlip, Ireland. Prior to joining Intel, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University, researching the addition of metal organic frameworks to materials to create smart fabrics.


Laura completed her law degree from The Northwestern Pritzker School of Law (J.D., 2018), where she was an editor of the Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property, competed in Giles Rich Moot Court, and was a co-president of the Intellectual Property Law Society. She also participated in hackathons, winning a prize for a block-chain application at the University of Illinois. She focused on intellectual property and entrepreneurship law and was part of the team that won first place at the Start-Up Transactional Law meet. As a law student, she served as a summer law clerk in patent litigation at law firms in Redwood City, CA and Wilmington, DE.

Laura completed her doctorate degree in chemistry from Rice University (Ph.D., 2009) under Nobel Laureate Richard Smalley and Distinguished Faculty Fellow Robert Hauge. Her work centered on the synthesis and use of carbon nanotubes. While completing her doctorate, she worked as a research assistant at Wright Patterson Air Force Laboratory investigating the role of water in carbon nanotube synthesis.

Laura has undergraduate degrees in chemistry, physics, and computer science with a minor in mathematics, from Millersville University (2003).


Laura is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts, Illinois, and before the USPTO.

Community Engagement

Laura is a member of the Young Professionals Board of Illinois Legal Aid Online. During her bar trip, she volunteered at the Solomon Klein Orphanage in Cochabamba, Bolivia. She received public service recognition at Northwestern for her volunteer work in law school.


  • Co-author, “Influence of Alumina Type on the Evolution and Activity of Alumina-Supported Fe Catalysts in SWNT Carpet Growth,” ACS Nano (2010)
  • Co-author, “Controlled Attachment of Metal Nanoparticles to SWNT as a Key Step in Their Seeded Growth and Lengthening,” Carbon (2010)
  • Co-author, “Nebulization of SWNT for Respiratory Toxicity Studies,” Carbon (2009)
  • Co-author, “Role of Water in Super Growth of SWNT Carpets,” Nano Letters (2009)
  • Co-author, “Functionalization of SWNTs to Facilitate the Coordination of Metal Ions, Compounds and Clusters,” Dalton Transactions (2008)
  • Co-author, “Amplification of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes from Designed Seeds: Separation of Nucleation and Growth,” The Journal of Physical Chemistry C (2007)