Patent law expert Colleen Chien, a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, has been named senior counselor at the U.S. Department of Commerce, the university said.

Chien will serve in the general counsel’s office at the Commerce Department, which oversees the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A law school spokeswoman said Chien will continue teaching at Santa Clara as the senior counselor is a part-time role.