Empowering and mitigating the next generation of female IP lawyers
On January 21st, women from all parts of the United States participated in the “Women’s March.” The march was a direct response to the inauguration of Donald Trump a day earlier and drew about 500,000 people to Washington D.C. Other marches followed throughout the country in cites including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, as well as London, Paris, Barcelona, and Brussels, just to name a few.
The purpose of the Woman’s March was to rally for women’s issues, as well as issues like the environment and immigration – to empower women to have a voice and let their concerns be heard.
Being a female attorney specializing in IP (intellectual property) law, I have a personal goal to inspire and mentor women who want to become attorneys to pursue careers in IP law.
Why does it matter—you may ask?
With technology progressing at a breathtaking pace, the need for IP attorneys is exploding. Furthermore, I believe that women should be leaders and players in this global field. It took women far too long to establish themselves in other areas of the law, such as criminal law. I don’t want to see women playing this type of catch-up when it comes to IP law.
Yes, it’s true that women have made great strides in the law over the past couple of decades. According to the legal blog, Associate’s Mind, women could be the majority of law students in 2017. While that’s great news for women, and for the law profession in general, women are lagging when it comes to IP law. And I, for one, believe that women have much to offer in this vital field.
So, what can women practicing IP law do to help fellow women who are interested in getting into the field?
Mentoring, mentoring, and more mentoring. That’s how I see it. We can tremendously by focusing on the following four points:
1. When asked, take the time to answer their questions;,
2. Encourage them, but at the same time tell them the truth about your experiences, good and bad;,
3. Teach and encourage them to be responsible and explain the hard truth, regarding what will be expected of them, and
4. Of course, let them know they always have choices.
Yes, now more than ever, it’s important that women feel empowered to pursue the life and careers they truly want. We cannot slip backwards after all the hard-fought progress we have made over the last few decades. I can and will do my part when it comes to practicing IP law. What can and will you do to help women be the leaders and innovators of the future?