1. Tell us about your practice.
My practice involves all aspects of soft IP law, from trademark and copyright prosecution to monitoring, enforcement and defense of intellectual property rights. I handle much of the monitoring work for our clients' trademarks, including domain name monitoring, and an interesting development in that area is the creation of new gTLDs (such as .bank and .attorney) and the problems this poses for businesses that want to protect their brands, domain names, trademarks and other intellectual property from abuse by third-parties.
2. Why did you choose to pursue a career in the legal field?
I wanted to become a civil rights lawyer because I always loved history—I was a history major in college—and was inspired by the ability of lawyers to incite massive social changes. When I finally arrived at law school, I quickly learned that I hated constitutional law. Thankfully, Shelley Thomas convinced me to take a class on copyright law with her and I came to the realization that I really enjoyed IP law.
3. How did your previous experience at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) prepare you for your role as an attorney within a law firm?
I worked as a trademark examining attorney at the USPTO for three years. During that time, I really learned the fundamentals of trademark law, the trademark prosecution process and how the USPTO and its examining attorneys think. I examined several thousand applications for all varieties of marks, goods, services and industries; I do not believe that kind of hands-on experience can be gained in such a short period of time anywhere else. The exposure to so many applications has made me a better attorney for our clients because there are very few situations in the trademark prosecution process which I have not seen before.