Harrity & Harrity just completed its 2nd Annual Women’s Workshop. The workshop is part of Harrity’s Diversity Initiative, whose Diversity Mission is to “promote and nurture a respectful, highly engaged, family friendly, and inclusive culture that values the diversity of our talented team with diverse backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, skills/talents, and capabilities.” Nine women, including recent law school graduates, current law students, and one research scientist with a Ph.D in electrical engineering, participated in a 3-day long workshop. The interactive programs included patent preparation and prosecution skills training, resume and interview preparation, and sessions with prominent women guest speakers in the intellectual property field. The guest speakers ranged from IP partners at major law firms (both litigation and prosecution partners), former leaders at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Chief IP Counsel and IP Counsel at major corporations, and leaders within Diversity and Inclusion organizations.
The participants were particularly interested in how these women navigated their careers in light of gender issues associated with working in a male-dominated profession as well as balancing career with life. For example, Barbara Fiacco, President-Elect of AIPLA and litigation partner at Foley Hoag, indicated that her love for research and writing led her to a career in IP litigation, where she is thriving. Ellen Smith, a partner at Sughrue Mion, shared her philosophy from her daughter’s school, “If there is no path, make your own,” as she described her experiences in navigating a different path for herself at Sughrue Mion while she was starting a family.
Cynthia Raposo gave us an inside look on how she helped develop the legal department for Under Armour before Under Armour was a household name. Interestingly, Cynthia had moved back to a small firm to a part-time position in attempt to achieve a better work-life balance. She began to do work for Under Armour and soon became their go-to lawyer for legal advice. When offered the position to go in-house at Under Armour, she indicated it was too exciting an opportunity to turn down. Cynthia was responsible for developing strategies for securing trademarks worldwide well before Under Armour would even enter those particular countries.
Other sessions included health and wellness issues in the practice of law, top career tips, as well as the very sage advice from our Harrity founders. John and Paul Harrity both conceded that their best career advice includes reading as much as possible with a focus on continued learning. We hope the participants had a great time, and we are looking forward to next year’s workshop!