Tell us about your practice.
In my practice, I focus on advising clients on a broad variety of transactional intellectual property (IP) and technology matters, including e-commerce, enterprise licensing, professional services, content licensing and distribution, and development and commercialization deals, as well as data protection, privacy and security matters. On any given day, I may be negotiating contracts, advising on transactions, and counseling clients on various laws and regulations that impact businesses who commercialize or use data (which is just about everyone nowadays).
What is an interesting trend happening right now related to your field of practice?
More prescriptive requirements and rules on what businesses can do with data they collect. Until now, data privacy and protection has been unregulated in the U.S. (outside the healthcare and financial services industries). That is starting to change. California is the first state to pass a comprehensive personal data collection and disclosure law, with several states appearing to be right on its heels. And under these laws, what qualifies as personal data is much broader than we have viewed personal information in the past. There is also a lot of pressure from various stakeholders to accomplish a federal privacy framework, including pressure from large tech firms and smaller companies who are finding it increasingly difficult to navigate often-conflicting laws. A large part of what I love about my practice is how dynamic the laws and regulations are that govern business’s data collection and use practices and control over data, which is increasingly valuable across different business sectors. Lawmakers and regulators are trying to play catch up to how data is consumed and valued, and it is exciting to partner with clients to ensure that we are staying ahead of the curve.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in the legal field?
My path to a legal career was not direct. I went through many changes of intended careers during college. First, it was journalism. Then I thought I would go into public policy, particularly education policy. I taught 7th grade in Chicago and was incredibly frustrated by the incredible disparities in resources between different public schools. I began law school with the intention of a career in education policy to address the systemic issues I had witnessed in my classroom and school. However, my favorite undergrad class was Media Law, not only for First Amendment issues but also copyright and other IP issues. Once in law school, I again gravitated toward IP courses and found it to be a really interesting intersection of creativity in how the law at least is intended to promote and protect innovation, and the practical implications of how important IP rights are in our economy and society. I try to be constantly learning, and working with clients to leverage not only their homegrown IP but also licensed technology in the service of their business goals is rewarding.