Charting a new path: Dietze was not offered tenure at UMBC (CJ's note: this happened in 1993) so he applied to law school, an idea he had toyed with early on. Dietze worked as a review chemist for the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and attended the University of Maryland School of Law in the evenings. He earned his law degree in 1998.
Blending chemistry and law as a patent attorney: As a special counsel for Haynes & Boone, LLP, Dietze advises clients in the generic pharmaceutical industry on patenting issues. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I get to use my chemistry, and I get to use my law degree. It’s really a perfect blend of everything. If I had to do it all over again, I’d do it exactly the same way.”It seems to me that so many people who go through a difficult time and ultimately succeed seem to say similar things to "I'd do it exactly the same way." I don't understand it, but it reminds me of a passage from a favorite novel (Stephen King's "The Stand"), describing this process via an anecdote about a rhythm guitar player:
Then, somehow, over a period of eighteen months, he had gotten clean, and stayed clean. A lot of him was gone. He was no longer the driving wheel of any group, Most Likely to Succeed or otherwise, but he was always on time, never missed a practice session, or f---ed up an audition. He didn't talk much, but the needle highway on his left arm had disappeared. And Barry Grieg had said: He's come out the other side.
That was all. No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just... come out the other side.
Or you don't.I can't imagine what it is like to be an assistant professor and not be offered tenure, but I imagine that it is a devastating blow. I'm glad that Dr. Dietze came out the other side.