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The entrepreneurial, award-winning, kickboxing law student

Alvin Carter, AS'07, L'18, is the recipient of the 2017 Jan Jancin Award, presented annually by the American Intellectual Property Law Association. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Alvin Benjamin Carter III doesn’t just think like an entrepreneur, he is one. During his time at Northeastern, the soon-to-be Double Husky has been acutely focused on entrepreneurship and helping others protect their intellectual property.

As an undergraduate at Northeastern, Carter studied music industry and launched two businesses—one a high-end apparel startup, the other a company that provided management, booking, and audio production services to local bands. Now, as a student in the School of Law, he’s worked for the university’s IP CO-Lab—a law clinic that provides a range of IP-related legal information and services to Northeastern inventors and ventures—and co-founded the Law and Information Society and co-chaired the Intellectual Property Society. Next month, he begins his next co-op as a legal officer for the Northeastern University Center for Entrepreneurship Education.

“I feel like, as an attorney, I can be a mini-entrepreneur, helping them pursue their entrepreneurship goals.”

Alvin Carter AS'07, L'18

This fall, Carter was named the recipient of the 2017 Jan Jancin Award, presented annually by the American Intellectual Property Law Association. The award recognizes law students who have exemplified excellence in intellectual property academic studies and who are interested in pursuing a career in intellectual property law. He will officially receive the award on Thursday at the AIPLA annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

“I’m excited to receive this award,” said Carter, AS’07, L’18. “I’m honored to be recognized for the work I’m doing, and to be recognized among the top IP law students in the country.”

A few years ago, Carter’s entrepreneurial spirit crossed over into another area of particular interest to him: combat sports. He is the founder of the Combat Sports Hall of Fame, a nonprofit online institution that celebrates mixed martial arts, documents its history, and educates the public about the sport. Launched in May 2014, the hall of fame started out as Carter’s graduate thesis project in the Harvard Extension School’s Museum Studies master’s program.

Law student Alvin Carter says he’s accepted a position after graduation in May at the firm Brown Rudnick LLP. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Carter also has plenty of combat sports experience of his own. He took karate lessons as a child and practiced taekwondo during his undergraduate studies at Northeastern. Around the time of graduation, Carter learned he was diabetic, which spurred him to think about losing some weight. “My mother thought I should do kickboxing. I think she thought it was primarily cardio,” he said with a laugh. Carter joined a gym and avidly trained in kickboxing and mixed martial arts for a while, but now he mainly does kickboxing workouts and training in his spare time.

Carter expects to take his entrepreneurial drive into his law career. He said he’s accepted a position after graduation in May at the firm Brown Rudnick LLP. He worked there earlier this year on co-op as a summer associate, where his responsibilities included responding to four trademark-related actions from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as well as conducting research on patents and end-user license agreements.

“I like helping people start ventures,” Carter said. “There’s an overlap between IP and entrepreneurship. I feel like, as an attorney, I can be a mini-entrepreneur, helping them pursue their entrepreneurship goals.”