Erin Swinstead

Patent Law Clerk


Dr. Erin Swinstead is a patent law clerk with Foley & Lardner LLP, based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, where she is a member of the firm’s Chemical, Biotech & Pharmaceutical Practice.

Prior to joining Foley, Erin was a patent law clerk for a global firm located in Washington, D.C. where she drafted patent applications for filing domestically and internationally, drafted responses to Office Actions and met with inventors to discuss patent strategies. She also performed due diligence on IP portfolios and provided technical support in litigation.

Erin was also a postdoctoral fellow in molecular biology at The National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute where she obtained experience in biochemical assays and computational bioinformatics associated with genome-wide large-scale datasets to assess the chromatin landscape, epigenetic marks, enhancers, promoters, splicing and transcriptional regulation. Erin also obtained experience in Illumina based next generation sequencing instruments and high-throughput siRNA screens.

Erin is currently pursuing her Juris Doctor degree at The Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. with an anticipated graduation date of 2024.


  • University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia (PH.D., 2014)
    • Molecular biology
    • Dean’s Commendation of Doctoral Thesis Excellence
  • University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia (B.H.S., 2010)
    • First class honours
  • University of South Australia, South Australia, Australia (B.L.M., 2008)
    • Student representative, Australia Institute of Medical Science, (2007-2008)

Community Engagement

  • Speaker, Experimental Biology Conference, ASBMB, San Diego, CA, (2016)
  • Speaker, CCR-FYI, Colloquium, MD, (2015)
  • Writer/editor, LRBGE Connect Newsletter (2018-2019)
  • Chair, NIH Chromatin-DECODE seminar series/NIH, Special Interest Group (2018-2019)