I was recently visiting a relative in the hospital when the attending physician struck up a conversation with my family. When he found out that I am an attorney, he asked about my area of practice. I told him that I practice product liability defense and intellectual property litigation. He then asked me the following question, a variation of which has been posed to me dozens of times over the past five years: “What type of engineer are you?”
I am an English major, and I practice IP litigation. Not only do I not have a science background, but I made a concerted effort to avoid science classes in college. Law schools precipitate a myth that you can’t practice IP without a science background. It’s a myth because it’s not true. I’m proof. (Disclaimer: it is true that you can’t prosecute patents before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office without a science background. But patent prosecution is only one part of IP.) Continue reading “The Myth About Practicing IP”
My husband Brad and I are proud parents of a 20-month-old daughter, Lucille. Having to balance being a mom and a litigator at a large firm is probably the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. But it’s also an accomplishment of which I am very proud, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t pretend to be an expert, and I still have a lot to learn. But based on the past 20 months, here are some tips that I’ve acquired to support a “work-mom” balance:
It takes a village. I won’t sugarcoat this: I’d have to quit my job if it weren’t for my husband and my mom. My husband works predictable, regular hours and, with rare exception, does not have to work at night or on the weekends. He is an extremely present dad, is helpful at home, and is very supportive and understanding of my job. My mom lives 30 miles away and is our go-to babysitter, with little to no notice, particularly when Lucy is sick and has to stay home from daycare. She watched Lucy twice per week when she was an infant and is the most dependable person in our lives.
Invest in superior daycare, whatever that means for you and your family. For us, it means that Lucy attends a daycare in downtown Madison, only two blocks away from both my and my husband’s offices. Continue reading ““Work-Mom” Balance”