About the Blogger

David Logan's picture

David Logan served as Dean at Roger Williams School of Law from 2003 to 2014, making him one of the nation's longest-serving law deans. In 2014, he returned to full-time teaching and research.

A graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, Professor Logan clerked for a federal...

Affordable Excellence at RWU LAW

David Logan's Post

Movin' on Up, but Reaching Back

Posted by David Logan on 02/15/2011 at 10:16 AM

photo of Jason Van Volkenburgh

Jason and Mark in the FGX Distribution Center


As fellow graduates of Bucknell University, I bonded with Jason Van Volkenburgh as soon as he arrived at RWU Law in August 2004.  Jason was a terrific student (I heard people say that he “opened the library in the morning and closed it at night”) who graduated near the top of his class and went to work with one of the top firms in the Northeast (Edwards & Angell, where he joined a great guy from the RWU class ahead of him, Joe Farside).  Jason dove in to transactional work and soon was offered what is the dream job for many corporate lawyers: going “in-house.” Jason became Counsel at FGX International, based in Smithfield RI, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sunglasses and non-prescription reading glasses (Foster Grant and Magnivision are perhaps their best known brands), sold in over 70,000 retail locations worldwide. At FGX Jason got the broad range of experience he hoped for, providing counsel on domestic and international business matters, including managing intellectual property consisting of 500+ patents and 400+ trademarks across the globe, reviewing, drafting and negotiating all manner of corporate documents, counseling the management team on a variety of legal matters, and working on mergers and acquisitions.  This excellent array of experiences provided the springboard for Jason’s newest opportunity: later this month he becomes Associate General Counsel for Hunter Douglas, a large publically-traded company with its U.S. corporate headquarters in Bergen County, NJ.

While at FGX, Jason has also been committed to giving back to his law school, most recently serving as a mentor for an aspiring corporate lawyer 2L Mark Williams.  Here are some of Mark’s thoughts on working with, and learning from, Jason.

Working at FGX has been a great experience, allowing me to put classroom principles into practice. Jason has involved me in many areas of corporate law. In addition to assisting Jason and outside counsel on patent and trademark applications (my primary area of interest), I have reviewed infringement claims and drafted cease and desist letters. Also, I have reviewed contracts and licensing agreements and summarized the key provisions for various department heads, as well as researching sales and import laws in many different countries as part of potential customer agreements. Amazingly enough, I have even been able to sit in on contract negotiations and settlement conferences. Jason has bent over backwards to incorporate me into his practice, even rescheduling conference calls and meetings for days when I don’t have classes.

Alumni like Jason reflect the quality education that this school produces, and I am proud to be a part of this legal community. I know Jason will be a great asset to Hunter Douglas and I will always appreciate his help.  Some day I hope to have the pleasure of doing what Jason has done…reaching back and helping some future RWU law student learn the ropes of corporate practice.